The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta | www.catholicoutlook.org
VOLUME 18, DECEMBER 2015
Wishing all our readers a Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year
FROM THE DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATOR
Very Rev Peter G Williams
FAMILY & LIFE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A Christmas Message
4, 8, 18-22
Recently, I was made aware of an
advertisement in Great Britain that
normally ‘kick starts’ the commercial
onslaught that seems to come earlier and
earlier every year. The company involved,
John Lewis, produced this video clip on
YouTube entitled #ManontheMoon with a
concluding caption “show someone they’re
loved this Christmas.”
It seems somewhat ironic that a secular
advertisement, which has no reference to
the birth of Christ, should in its message
convey the ultimate truth of what our
celebration on 25 December is really all
about. It is best summarised in one of the
most often quoted verses from St John’s
“For God so loved the world that He
gave His only Son, so that everyone who
believes in Him may not perish but may
have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God’s love for human beings, with all our
flaws and deficiencies remains the central
theme as we ponder the events around the
birth of Jesus Christ. And we don’t need
to look far to acknowledge how seriously
deficient and flawed the behaviour of some
human beings can be!
Last month the horrific slaughter of
innocent people in Paris in the name
of a disfigured and corrupted religious
ideology not only shocked France but
the entire world. Previous to that we had
a bombing in Beirut, the bringing down
of a Russian commercial aircraft over
Sinai, terrorist acts in Turkey and further
carnage in Baghdad.
For all the progress of the human race in
science and technology, for the capacity
for human beings to excel in all fields of
endeavour, in financial resourcing and
industrial production, in sport and the
arts, in agriculture and environmental
care, in philanthropic acts and lasting
aid programs to countries in need, there
remains a fundamental problem –what
motivates some people to engage in
appalling atrocities against other innocent
Those who have embraced salvation in
Christ know that sin is the problem;
alienation from God and from others,
and ultimately from oneself, and such
alienation can lead to the actions we have
For those who celebrate the birth of Christ
as the coming of the Saviour, and embrace
the Gospel this annual observance
“For God so loved the world that He gave
His only Son, so that everyone who believes in
Him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
provides the opportunity to be grounded
once again at the very core of our being,
to understand that the purpose of all
humanity is to live in the knowledge of the
love of God and thus to live peaceably with
all men and women.
As the Christmas carol reminds us as
we ponder the Child of Bethlehem, “the
hopes and fears of all our years, are met
in Thee tonight.” It is also important
to acknowledge that Christmas is not
necessarily an easy time for many people.
Those who are alone, those who are
estranged from their families, the poor
and destitute, the homeless – their plight is
often disguised at this time of year.
While generous acts of charity by
Church organisations and others provide
welcome and temporary relief, it is not
a long-term solution to their misery.
Many of society’s problems are systemic
and require structural reform that is not
easily achieved in a world where personal
success at all costs seems the benchmark
for the aspirational man or woman.
During the great Jubilee Year of Mercy
inaugurated by Pope Francis, perhaps a
more merciful attitude in our own lives
might be a good starting point to enter
into the fullness of the Christmas season.
In our desire to compare ourselves to
others, and often in that process falling
into a critical and destructive personal
character assassination, we might do well
to remember the totality of the mercy of
God towards us, which is expressed in the
vulnerability of a tiny newborn child in the
most humble of circumstances devoid of
any security other than being totally loved.
John Lewis challenges its shoppers
to “show someone they’re loved this
Christmas” by spending more. God spends
much more in the gift of His Son, born for
us, and born to die so that we might live.
So in our Christmas celebrations this year
let the Mercy of God be most prevalent in
all that we do.
If we are estranged from family and
friends, let that be healed by a gracious
act of forgiveness and love; let our charity
to those in need not just be a ‘one off ’
to assuage our need to do something at
this time of year, but let our self-sacrifice
invade the whole year. And if we are in
need of experiencing the Mercy of God,
let us have recourse to the sacraments that
provide for us real and lasting encounters
with the Saviour Jesus Christ.
With my Christmas greetings to all in the
Very Rev Peter G Williams
YEAR OF MERCY
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2 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
www.parrafamlife.org.au @parrafamlife parrafamlife
By Ben Smith, Director of the Family & Life Office
FAMILY & LIFE
Reimagining Christmas in Modern Australia
When you think of Christmas, what
images do you see in your mind’s
eye? You might see Santa Claus,
reindeers or Christmas trees. It is often hard
to escape from these images that we are
bombarded with from our popular culture.
These snowy images can be hard to relate to at
a time when the possibility of sunburn and the
sting of a mosquito are more concerning than
the prospect of frostbite.
Others might see in their mind's eye, the
Nativity scene with Mary and the baby Jesus.
But camels and kings from the Orient are also
foreign to our everyday experience and we can
become complacent about this familiar image.
Consequently, we can struggle to be amazed by
the first Christmas story as we might have been
when we were children.
Fostering our imagination can be good
for our faith. In fact, the great writer CS Lewis
recognised that imagination played a key role
in his conversion to Christianity. To help us
enter more deeply into the season of Christmas
I would like to give you a new perspective
via a modern painting of the Nativity from
Townsville artist Jan Hynes that is known as
Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville. This
image contains a lot of messages but I only have
space to deal with a few of them.
The first thing I noticed about the image
was that St Joseph was holding the baby Jesus
instead of Mary. This feature reminded me
of the time when I held my first child over 10
years ago. Men are much more involved in
the birth process today and this helps us bond
more strongly with our children. I wonder how
involved St Joseph was in the birth of Jesus?
I then noticed that Jesus was wrapped in
paper hand towel and that he was probably
born in the Parenting Room depicted in the
background. In my experience, the toilets in a
petrol station are not the most hygienic places
and I would only use them in the case of an
emergency. So for the artist to suggest that Jesus
was born in this location indicates how low
Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity,
stooped to enter our world.
This humility of God helps me understand
God in a different light. It was also very humble
Bonding time: the Nativity in Townsville. Artist: Jan Hynes.
of God to show Himself to mechanics as His
first witnesses. This aspect of God helps me
appreciate Him as a God of Love and Mercy
rather than of judgement.
There is a lot of joy and wonder in this
image. Notice how all the characters are gazing
at Jesus, who is located right in the centre.
Outside of this focus on the newborn Jesus there
are also some clues to His ultimate destiny. The
plant in the background seems to be a symbol
of Palm Sunday. Furthermore, Mary is carrying
a shopping bag with the message 'Blood: Saves
Lives' printed on it. This bag contains a loaf of
bread and a bottle of wine. These symbols are
likely to be connected to Jesus’ future Passion
and the Eucharist.
I hope this image has stimulated your
Christian imagination. What do you see in this
image that takes your interest? How does this
deepen your faith? I would like to encourage
you to send me an email on famlife@parra.
catholic.org.au with your answers to these
questions. The best two responses will win a
copy of a hardcover book: The End and the
Beginning: Pope John Paul II – The Victory of
Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy by George
For Christmas Mass times across the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, go to www.parra.catholic.org.au
Christmas at St Patrick’s Cathedral
1 Marist Place, Parramatta
Christmas Mass times
Christmas Eve on Thursday 24 December
6pm Children’s Mass; 8.30pm; 11.30pm Carols prior to Mass at midnight.
Christmas Day on Friday 25 December
Mass at 8am; 9.30am; 11am; 6pm
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Monday to Friday 11.15am-12.20pm; Saturday 5pm - 5.30pm
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 3
Rev Fr David Roy Scott
16 March 1926 – 8 November 2015
retired priest of the Diocese of
Parramatta, Rev Fr David Scott, died
on Sunday 8 November at Holy Family
Services Retirement Village.
The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated
on Thursday 12 November at St Paul the Apostle
Church at Winston Hills.
Fr David was Pastor Emeritus of St Paul the
Apostle Parish. Appointed Parish Priest in 1970,
he retired from active ministry in 2010.
In 2011, Fr David received the Pro Ecclesia
et Pontifice from Bishop Anthony Fisher OP at
the Chrism Mass. Also known as the ‘Cross of
Honour’, the medal was established by Leo XIII
in 1888, and is currently given for distinguished
service to the Church by lay people and clergy.
Fr David was born at Rosebery in 1926 to
Jack and Gladys Scott. The stained glass window
behind the altar in St Paul the Apostle Church is
dedicated to them.
He was the middle of three brothers –
Michael is the youngest and John who died in
2009 was the eldest.
Fr David’s brother, Michael, reflected on
his brother’s life outside of his priestly works,
noting his “love for our mum and dad and his
The homily, given by Very Rev Peter
Williams, recognised Fr David’s great
contribution to the community, “caring for his
community with a gentleness of spirit, teaching
the faith, administering the sacraments,
and at the same time being a very capable
“His legacy in terms of buildings stand
all around us today, but the more important
legacy was the community of men, women
and children whose spiritual home became
and still is this place for 40 years. His prudent
management and financial acumen allowed him
to be very generous in supporting other parts of
the mission of the Church outside the parish,”
Fr Peter said.
The young David grew up in Kingsford in St
Michael’s Parish at Daceyville. He was educated
at the parish primary school and what was then
Marist Randwick (now Marcellin College).
On leaving school, he entered St Columba’s
Seminary at Springwood and completed his
studies at St Patrick’s Seminary at Manly.
He was ordained by Cardinal Gilroy in St
Mary’s Cathedral on 22 July 1950.
Fr David’s priestly appointments included
parishes in Katoomba, Lakemba, Haberfield,
Lithgow, Dulwich Hill, Strathfield, St Paul’s
Seminary at Manly where he was Director of
Students, and St Mary’s Cathedral.
His final appointment in 1970 was Parish
Priest of St Paul the Apostle Parish at Winston
Hills where he spent the next 40 years building
the parish from the ground up.
Fr Roger Wynne at North Parramatta had
procured the land on behalf of the Archdiocese
of Sydney. In 1970, Fr David was appointed
the first parish priest and was instrumental in
the purchase of, or construction of, the church,
presbytery, convent and school buildings.
As well as being their pastor, he was
highly regarded by parishioners as a good
“In his sacrifice of priestly service, David
Scott inspired and brought to birth with him
the Catholic community of Winston Hills,” Fr
Fr David retired from active ministry
in 2010 and regarded the years he spent at
Winston Hills as the highlight of his priestly
His brother, Michael, said David was well
known for his love of sport, in particular golf.
For many years he had played a round every
Monday at St Michael’s Golf Club, often with his
dear friend, Fr Eric Burton, by his side.
If you asked any of the many people whose
lives have connected with Fr David what stands
out most, they would point to his devotion to
the Rabbitohs South Sydney football team.
“God’s graciousness at least enabled him
to see his beloved Rabbitohs win another
premiership last year,” Fr Peter said.
Fr David Roy Scott is buried at Castlebrook
Memorial Park at Rouse Hill.
He is remembered especially by his brother,
Michael, his beloved family and parish, and his
dear friend, Fr Eric Burton.
For more images of the event, please visit:
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4 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
The Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev
Peter G Williams, has confirmed the
following appointments in the Catholic
Diocese of Parramatta:
Rev Fr Andrew Bass
Holy Trinity, Granville, and
Holy Family Parish, East Granville
Rev Fr Jolly Chacko MS
St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook
Rev Fr Peter Confeggi
Mary, Queen of the Family Parish,
Rev Fr Walter Fogarty
Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead
Rev Fr Zakaria Gayed
St John the Evangelist Parish, Riverstone
Rev Fr Giovani Presiga Gaviria
Sacred Heart Parish,
From 18 December 2015
Rev Fr Zvonimir Gavranovic
St Michael’s Parish, Baulkham Hills
From 18 December 2015
Rev Fr Wim Hoekstra
St Michael’s Parish, Baulkham Hills
Priest Responsible for Priests
Rev Fr Tovia Lui
St Paul the Apostle Parish, Winston Hills
Rev Fr Reginaldo Lavilla MSP
St Matthew’s Parish, Windsor
Rev Fr Alejandro Lopez OFM Conv
Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville
Rev Fr Michael O’Callaghan
Our Lady of the Way Parish, Emu Plains
Rev Fr Janusz Pawlicha OSPPE
St Margaret Mary’s Parish, Merrylands
Rev Fr Joseph Thomas
St Patrick’s Parish, Guildford
Rev Fr Piotr Kruk OP
Young Christian Workers (YCW) and Young
Christian Students (YCS)
Our Past in Our Future:
Christ the King Parish, North Rocks
By Elizabeth McFarlane
When visiting Christ the King Parish
in North Rocks, the first thing that
may strike your eye is the unique
architectural design of the church. Designed by
John King, the roof is said to echo the tent that
housed the tabernacle of the Old Testament.
Christ the King Parish was formed on
3 February 1970, with the first Mass being
offered on 8 February 1970 at the North Rocks
Fr Eric Burton was welcomed as their
first Parish Priest and celebrated Mass in the
Community Centre and what is now the church
hall up until 1996, when the church that stands
now was built.
Fr Burton, very recently retired, was Parish
Priest of Christ the King for some 45 years.
He recently celebrated his 90th birthday on 24
Deacon Tony Hoban, who has been based
at the parish for six years, attended and assisted
with Fr Burton’s 90th birthday celebration.
“It was a wonderful occasion. You could see
the warmth and the love for Fr Burton. Some of
the people present have known him since the
early days when he established the parish. I was
very proud that I could work with Fr Burton
and assist him in the later years of his priestly
life,” Deacon Tony said.
Over his six years with the parish, Deacon
Tony has been a witness to many changes.
“I think it’s always a fundamental change
when the initial priest of the parish steps down
from his active ministry. Fr Eric Burton retiring
has been a big change in the life of the parish as
he was the founding Pastor,” he said.
“We’ve had a number of other priests come
in since he left. I think in the past four years
we might have had four different pastors at
different times. It’s been a bit of a period of
change and it takes time for the parishioners
to get used to that but that’s just a part of life.
There is always change and people have to
adjust to it.”
Fr Burton has passed the baton to Fr
Ian McGinnity, making the event a great
opportunity for the parish community to come
together and celebrate their past while also
looking towards their future.
“It’s always a little difficult to follow a
legacy. Fr Burton was the founding pastor and
many of the people grew up with him. There’s a
lot of respect, naturally, and a lot of esteem for
Fr Burton. But there’s always the challenge, of
course, to recognise that we have to look to the
future,” Fr Ian said.
Fr Ian wears many hats within the Diocese,
being Chairman of the National Council of
Priests (NCP), Chair of the Confraternity of
Christian Doctrine Advisory Board Committee
and Chair of the Board of Management for the
Clergy Remuneration Retirement Plan of the
Fr Burton has great faith in the future of the
parish and the work of Fr Ian.
“Looking to the future, there will always be
new challenges. There is always the hope that
the work will carry on after the 40-odd years
that have passed. Eyes on the present, people
have met the challenges in all aspects of parish
life,” Fr Burton said.
Fr Burton was thankful for the amount of
time and effort that went into organising his
90th birthday celebration.
“I am thankful for the many people
involved in the preparation and the celebration
of the event. It was great to see a lot of the old
people who had previously been involved in the
community. It was a great night,” he said.
“There are good signs in the various
people who are involved in the activity groups
and apostolic groups in the parish, which is
encouraging. They are inspiring and I could go
on about them for a million years.”
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CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 5
CATHOLIC YOUTH CatholicYouthParra @cyp_parramatta @CatholicYouthParra
Invest in young Catholics attending World Youth Day
By James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta
CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA
COST: $2 PER TICKET OR $20 PER BOOK
Our World Youth Day Group
Leaders and Chaplains have
been announced for our
Diocese of Parramatta pilgrimages
We have gathered an incredible
team of people to journey with us on
pilgrimage to Kraków, Poland.
It is now only four months till
registration will close and more than
240 young people have expressed
interest in attending. In the coming
weeks they will receive a username
and password to access the
COSMOS pilgrimage website and
start making payments towards the
There are 47 parishes in our
Diocese and we want to make
sure that every community has an
opportunity to benefit from the
dramatic input of a returned WYD
pilgrim. We are requesting that
each parish nominate someone who
becomes our WYD Champion.
This contact will give us up to
date feedback on who is coming
from their parish and how their
fundraising is going. For the past
month our WYD Group Leaders
and Chaplains have been engaged
in their formation and training
program each Thursday night at the
Institute for Mission in Blacktown.
They have heard from a range
of guest speakers on topics that
will prepare us for the huge task of
accompanying almost 400 young
people to the other side of the globe.
Over this Christmas period
I hope that parishioners, family,
and friends might consider buying
a raffle ticket that goes towards
subsidising each pilgrim. There are
$30,000 worth of prizes to be won
including a Toyota Yaris and $6000
overseas holiday with COSMOS.
Look out for your parish pilgrims
selling tickets at the back of the
church over the coming months.
Tickets are $20 for a booklet of 10.
You've got to be in it to win it!
The raffle will be drawn on Palm
Sunday following our youth Mass.
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ACYF FESTIVAL AND
By James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta
group of 170 young people from
the Diocese of Parramatta travelled
to Adelaide this month for one of
the largest gatherings of Catholic youth in
The 2nd Australian Catholic Youth Festival
held from 3-5 December is part of a new
strategy of the Australian Catholic Bishops
Conference whereby national youth events will
be held on a three-year cycle involving World
Youth Day, the Festival and the Youth Ministry
In our Diocese we have made a significant
commitment to treating this cycle of events as
part of a broad plan for youth evangelisation in
Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The financial support of individual
parishes, schools, Catholic Education
Parramatta and Catholic Youth Parramatta have
made it possible for a large number of young
people to attend. Some might never receive an
interstate or international Catholic experience
of this kind.
Before our youth and young adults started
out on their journey to the Festival, they were
commissioned by the Diocesan Administrator,
Very Rev Peter Williams, at St Patrick's
Cathedral with their family and friends present.
He challenged delegates to overcome fear in
our world with hope for a peaceful future and
to show the other young people of Australia
the vibrancy of our Diocese as they attend the
plenary sessions and multitude of workshops at
the Adelaide Convention Centre.
Photos: Adrian Middeldorp.
The Festival exists to provide young people
with opportunities to deepen their relationship
with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the
world today and encounter and celebrate the
vitality of the Church in Australia.
One of the unique opportunities is for
young people to dialogue in small groups with
bishops from across the country on hot topic
issues and questions of faith and culture.
A total of 3500 young people aged from
15-25 are now invigorated, formed and inspired
for ministry with other young people in their
schools and parishes in the hope of continuing
to build the Kingdom of God.
For more images of the event, please visit:
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CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 7
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Reflection on Pope Francis’
message for the World Day of
the Sick, 11 February 2016
By Dr Michael Tan
For the diocesan World Day of
the Sick Mass at St Patrick’s
Church in Blacktown on 11
February 2016, Pope Francis has
invited us to meditate on the Marriage
feast of Cana, with the theme:
Entrusting Oneself to the Merciful Jesus
like Mary: “Do whatever he tells you”
Mary is presented as the
thoughtful and hospitable woman
who swiftly and discreetly responds
to the serious problem of the wedding
feast running out of wine.
Her intercession arises out of
a heart of mercy and compassion,
founded on a lifetime of pondering
many things in her heart, both joyful
and sorrowful. In interceding with her
son, her only request to us is to “do
whatever he tells you.”
In response to Mary’s request,
our care, whether personal, voluntary
or professional, is performed in
obedience to her son, and are acts of
mercy and hospitality towards the
In responding to his mother’s
intercession by transforming water
into the new wine of the kingdom,
Jesus reveals to us the face of the
Father of mercy and compassion, who
sends His only Son on a mission.
This is a mission of love – a love
that heals our brokenness, illnesses
and sicknesses. This healing is a
means towards an end – that of our
salvation, and the fullness of life to
which all of us are called.
The healing which Jesus brings
about in our lives is most evident at
the foot of the Cross. On the Cross,
Jesus reminds us that healing does
not mean that all illness, suffering and
death are removed from our lives. The
crucified Christ and the risen Christ
are one and the same person.
Like the disciples on the road to
Emmaus, Jesus Himself asks of us:
“what are these matters that you are
discussing?” In sharing our doubts,
struggles, grief and turmoil, we
gradually came to recognise Him at
the breaking of bread. It is noteworthy
that at the end of the story, the
disciples are no longer sad and griefstricken
when Jesus disappears once
again, since they would continue to
enter into communion with Him at
each future breaking of bread.
To conclude, Jesus continues to
invite us to gather around the altar
of suffering, recognise Him at the
breaking of bread, and to entrust our
grief and suffering to the intercession
of His mother.
Social Justice and the Face of Mercy:
Building a network of Mercy in our Diocese
By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA, Diocesan Social Justice Coordinator
JESUS forms with the
people who approach
him manifest something
entirely unique and
The signs he works,
especially in favour of
sinners, the poor, the
marginalised, the sick,
and the suffering, are all
meant to teach mercy.
Everything in him speaks
of mercy. Nothing in him
is devoid of compassion.”
These words remind me
of the responses and
relationships at the heart
of many of our local agencies,
which respond to and walk with
asylum seekers and refugees in
These agencies go about
their work day in and day out:
CatholicCare Social Services
Parramatta, House of Welcome,
St Vincent de Paul Society, Jesuit
Refugee Services, Josephite
Community Aid and others.
As we have prepared for
the Year of Mercy over the
past few months it has been
a privilege to experience this
first hand, meeting together to
build a practical and effective
network that aims to enable
us to effectively walk with and
empower the expected 7000
Syrian refugees who will arrive in
NSW over the coming year.
These agencies are a living
and concrete sign of mercy. The
agencies would have us focus our
attention on mercy being a sign
of God’s expansive love, focus
our hearts and actions not only
on those who arrive, but also on
those already in our community
seeking hospitality and welcome.
This network is already
a local sign of mercy, being
able to collaborate recently to
respond to the social, material
and employment support needs
of a group from the Tamil
Local parish communities
are planning to support these
agencies, host welcome dinners,
volunteer at English classes and
build community, listening to
and sharing the stories of asylum
seekers and refugees at table
talks and community events – a
concrete call to all of us during
this Year of Mercy.
May we all reflect on Pope
Francis’ words: “What moved
Jesus in all of these situations was
nothing other than mercy, with
which he read the hearts of those
he encountered and responded to
their deepest need.” (MV 8)
SAVE THE DATE
Mass for World Day of the Sick
Bulk Billing for GP Services
MEDICAL CENTRE OPENING HOURS
Saturday & Sunday 9.00am-2.00pm
Public Holidays to be advised
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY
DOCTOR HOME VISITS AND AFTER
HOURS SERVICES AVAILABLE
Parking on-site available
Pathology on premises
Thursday 11 February 2016 at 10.30am
Including the Sacramental Rite of Anointing of
the Sick and Prayers for Healing
Please join us for a light lunch at the conclusion
St Patrick’s Church, 51 Allawah Street, Blacktown
in acknowledgment of carers
and those for whom they care
DOCTORS AND PHYSIOTHERAPIST
DR. ARUNTHA JESUTHASAN (Female GP)
DR. CHARLES HAYES (Male GP)
DR. VAN NGUYEN (Male GP)
DILHAN JAYAMANNE (Physiotherapist)
• Children’s/Women’s/Men’s Health
Immunisations Health Assessment
• Heart and Lung Assessment
• Prevention of Chronic Illnesses
• Weight Loss Programme
• Skin Diseases Management - including Skin Cancer
• Minor Surgical Procedures
• Pre-employment Medicals
• Travel Medicine
(DR GARIMA MALHOTRA)
• Free initial check-up
• Veterans’ Affairs cover
• Dental X-rays
• Medicare Bulk Billing
for eligible children aged
between 2 and 17 years
of age - Benefits up to
• 10% discount for seniors
• Patients from all funds
welcome - Health fund
claims on the spot
Thank you for your support.
We wish you a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year
81– 83 Richmond Rd, Blacktown, NSW | 9622 1998
8 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
www.parrafamlife.org.au @parrafamlife parrafamlife
FAMILY & LIFE
Discovering the Feminine Genius
By Annabelle Bhandoo, Family & Life Office
Guest speaker Anna Krohn at The Feminine Genius Talk. Photos: Annabelle Bhandoo.
The Family and Life Office, along with
a small team of women organised a
Women’s event on 24 October 2015.
Approximately 60 women gathered to hear
about ‘The Feminine Genius’, a term which
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith
Stein) wrote abundantly about, as did St.
John Paul II.
The guest speaker was Anna Krohn
who is an educator, speaker and writer in
the areas of ethics, Catholic theology and
spirituality. She is currently the Academic
Skills Advisor at the John Paul II Institute
for Marriage and Family in Melbourne and
Convenor of the Anima Women’s Network.
Anna’s talk on the feminine genius
began by focussing on St. Teresa Benedicta.
St. Teresa Benedicta wrote extensively
about the dignity of women from a unique
philosophical perspective known as
phenomenology. She saw that a special unity
exists in women between their physical and
spiritual nature, combined with their natural
desire to give and receive love. She taught
that a woman’s soul is inwardly affected by
that which happens to the body and her
soul shapes her outer being and that women
have a very important role in society. She
recognised the importance of forming the
whole person - mind, body and soul, and
learnt from reflecting on the events that were
taking place in her life.
St. Teresa Benedicta’s work was
developed by St John Paul II in his letter to
Women (1995) and in Mulieris Dignitatem
(1998). Anna summarised the four central
features that St. John Paul II saw as the
1. A woman is called to be true to the
deep mystery of her created reality. She
must first rediscover the wonder of her own
“creation” including God’s call to her. The
full depth of her talents and dignity, the
integrated and redeemed development of
her spiritual, bodily, sexual and intellectual
powers should be recognised and strongly
defended by all.
2. Women have an enormous
capacity to see a person as a “who” not a
“what.” When women use their talent for
emotional sensitivity in gossip-mongering,
manipulation of others and, most tragically
of all, when they are made to believe they
cannot care for the unborn, the needy or
themselves, they are being tempted away
from this “genius”.
3. Thirdly, women seem also to be drawn
to the creation and protection of special
and receptive “spaces”. They seem to know
in what places they and others can flourish.
They have a maternal instinct.
4. The fourth and essential aspect of
feminine genius is women’s unique and
vital complementary contributions and
relationships with men. God “intended”
humanity to be a collaboration and
communion of “the two” male and female.
Men and women, though they complement
each other, are different.
Morning tea was served, then in small
groups the women discussed how their own
feminine genius can contribute to society.
Anna launched Anima in the Diocese
of Parramatta. Anima is a women’s network
aimed at encouraging each woman to be the
best she can be while recognising her own
dignity as a woman. It is for women of all
ages, vocations and organisations within the
Church. For more information tel (02) 8838
From the positive feedback on the
Feminine Genius event, it shows that
there is a real need for women to have the
opportunity to come together socially and to
be formed spiritually.
Next event: Karen Doyle will speak about
‘The Genius Project’ on Saturday 12 March.
Visit the Family and Life Office website: www.
parrafamlife.org.au for upcoming details.
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CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 9
16/09/2015 12:48 pm
YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE
Dominican’s Dogged Determination
By Elizabeth McFarlane
“I discovered the
presence of the
Holy Spirit and
the old memory of
being in love with
Jesus came back
By Adrian Middeldorp
Fr Piotr Kruk OP. Photo: Elizabeth McFarlane.
At just 22 years of age and in his
third year of a Marketing and
Management Degree, Fr Piotr Kruk
OP decided he wanted to become a monk.
After knocking on the door of the
Dominicans, affectionately known as
the ‘Hounds of Heaven’, Fr Piotr spent a
month in their seminary, but was told he
It wouldn’t be until more than a decade
later that his determination to become a
priest would be realised.
“I was ordained a priest five years ago.
I’m quite a young priest, but not young in
age. I’m almost 40,” Fr Piotr said.
A Polish Dominican, Fr Piotr serves
at St Joseph’s Parish in Kingswood. He is
supporting Catholic Campus Ministry at
Western Sydney University in addition
to supporting the sisters at Mount
Schoenstatt in Mulgoa.
Recently, Fr Piotr was appointed
chaplain to the Young Christian Workers
(YCW) and Young Christian Students
Simply attired in white Dominican
robes, a staple of the 800-year-old order,
Fr Piotr’s clothing is in stark contrast to his
high school days of adorning himself in all
black to frontline his metal band.
“I was part of a sub-culture in high
school. It was a very dangerous sub-culture
as well. I was really scary, dressed in black
all the time like a Goth,” Fr Piotr said.
Fr Piotr’s call to the priesthood has
been a tumultuous journey. In his early
20s, he lost his best friend and then, not
long afterwards, he lost his astronomy
teacher. Fr Piotr began to question the
purpose of life, reflecting on the words of
his astronomy teacher to “look higher”.
“Those two moments were telling me
to wake up,” Fr Piotr said.
Fr Piotr visited the Dominicans with
high hopes of becoming a priest to realise
this higher purpose in life, but he was left
feeling disappointed and dejected when he
was turned away for not being ready.
He felt unsatisfied and unfulfilled
with simply returning to his studies, so
he decided to take a year off to work in
“After England, I came back to Poland
with a lot of savings. I started spending it
and being led back into the party lifestyle.
“But there was something still inside
that I could not push away; an unanswered
question about my vocation. I remember I
bought a telescope and one night I sat on
the roof, watching the stars and thinking
of my astronomy teacher. I started to pray
for the first time in a long time.
“I said, ‘God, you have one year to
convince me to be a priest and I have three
years to find a wife,’” Fr Piotr said.
Despite meeting a girl at church and
forming a deep relationship with her, Fr
Piotr still had a love for Christ and a desire
for the priesthood.
“I discovered the presence of the Holy
Spirit and the old memory of being in love
with Jesus came back refreshed. It was like
a new wave of memories and feelings that I
had had before,” Fr Piotr said.
There was no choice but for Fr Piotr
to knock on the door of the Dominicans
again, some four years after his first visit.
But this time he was ready.
From November 2015 to January 2017,
the Dominican Order is celebrating its 800
year jubilee. To find out more, please visit:
To read more about Fr Piotr, please
The Order of Preachers,
commonly known as the
Dominicans, will celebrate
their 800 years with a “Sent to preach
the Gospel” themed Jubilee Year.
The Jubilee Year will begin on 7
November, 2015 (Feast of All Saints
of the Order) and end on 21 January,
2017 (the date of the Bull Gratiarum
omnium largitori of Pope Honorius
Founded by St Dominic de
Guzmán, the Order “is known to
have been established, from the
beginning, for preaching and the
salvation of souls”. Membership in
the Order includes friars (priests),
nuns, active sisters, and lay or secular
Brothers from the Polish Province
of the Dominicans, who serve at St
Joseph’s Parish in Kingswood, would
like to invite all to participate in the
Jubilee celebrations. Pope Francis has
granted a special Jubilee indulgence
for the faithful who pray in a
Dominican church. Every morning
adoration will finish with prayers to
gain a plenary indulgence.
To find out more, please visit:
ST PAUL EXPEDITION
Toll Free: 1800 819 156
A 17 day pilgrimage departs
6th May 2016 with
Fr Thomas Casanova CCS
The Acts of the Apostles come alive as
we traverse the ancient paths of St Paul
and unearth the origins and emerging
faith of the first Christian communities.
Featuring: Athens • Greek Island Cruise
– Patmos & Kusadasi • Kalambaka
• Gallipoli • Istanbul
Also departing 16th September 2016.
Malta extension available.
*Costs have been based on prices as at 30 September 2015 and must remain subject to change without notice based on currency
exchange rates, departure city and minimum group size contingency. Prices are based on twin share or double rooming.
10 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
Lic. 2TA 003632
Pastoral Care attends in a sustained way to the emotional and
spiritual needs of people through a ministry of presence,
companionship and support.
Nationally recognised qualifications:
CHC41112 Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care
91561 NSW Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Care
For further information contact:
Holy Family Services
Registered Training Organisation
Tel (02) 9678 8200
DIOCESAN PASTORAL PLAN
By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA,
Diocesan Social Justice Coordinator
Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical
Laudato Si’, the Catholic community was
well represented at the Sydney climate march
on 29 November as world leaders gathered
for climate change talks in Paris.
A young woman from Parramatta Parish
said she was overjoyed by the large turnout
of people and was especially proud of her
Prior to the march, participants gathered
with other Catholic and faith groups on the
steps of St Mary’s Cathedral. The Archbishop
of Sydney, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP,
gave the marchers his blessing.
Catholic Earthcare, Caritas, diocesan
and parish groups joined with other faith
communities to walk to The Domain where
they joined an estimated 40,000 people to
march to the Opera House.
This diverse gathering highlighted the
essential message of Pope Francis to listen to
the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth.
Can You Spot Yourself at the Manger?
By Richard McMahon, Director of Pastoral Planning & Implementation
Somewhere behind the decorations box
and the special presents bought early
and stored carefully away for Christmas
(which we will no doubt be unable to locate in
time), lurk the figures from the Nativity scene.
There they perch, maybe appearing a little
chipped and worn, maybe a little dusty, but
waiting for their time in the sun…or at least
under the star!
Which of the characters depicts us as we
plan for Christmas?
Are you Joseph, struggling with the
weight of responsibility? Perhaps you are
bewildered by the way events have changed
so dramatically during the year. Do you seek
security for those you care for, experiencing
knock backs and closed doors? Must you settle
for something less than you planned for, but
are hopeful nonetheless of the promise hidden
within those you support?
Are you the humble donkey? Have you
patiently carried the precious gift of someone
special on a long journey this year? Have you
finally arrived, exhausted yet fulfilled, believing
that soon your efforts will be rewarded?
Maybe you are a bit like the ox, with
circumstances forced upon you. Suddenly you
have encountered something holy at a time and
in a way you could never have anticipated.
Has it been a year of asking searching
questions of yourself and others? Like the
wise ones, have you undertaken a journey of
discovery, seeking enlightenment? Perhaps, at
times, you have listened to the wrong advice, as
when the wise ones turned to King Herod. Are
you ready to share your gifts with Jesus?
Not all of the colourful characters of our
nativity stories earn a spot in the nativity scene.
The innkeeper and Herod are both notably
absent. Perhaps you can identify a little with
the innkeeper this year. Have you shut the
door, overwhelmed by the amount of need out
there? Or have you shunted new initiatives into
some back room, only to have them blossom
without any real effort from yourself? Have
you locked Jesus away, fearful of what He is
calling to birth in your own heart?
With King Herod, are you threatened
by something new? Are you guilty of stifling
a fledgling dream because you perceive it
may undermine your own agenda? Have you
confused the truth seekers, the wise ones,
giving them mixed messages out of your own
Are you a shepherd, transfixed with the
wonder of what is happening in your midst?
Do you regard yourself unworthy of all the
attention or feel clumsy in your efforts to
serve? Or perhaps you are an angel, confidently
announcing the Good News to all whom you
And we are all Mary, patiently awaiting
the birth of Christ who has already found
a home in our heart. Are we eager to bring
forth the Word to our needy world, despite
the darkness of our surrounds, the perceived
inappropriateness of the setting? Do we live in
joyful expectation, quietly confident that God’s
promise will be fulfilled?
Perhaps we are a little of all these
characters. How do we plan to grow in our
faith and share our faith in 2016? Planning for
our lives, our families and our communities
will almost certainly fail, if conceived in the
sterilised laboratories of meetings and text
books, detached from the joys and hopes,
the griefs and anxieties of our everyday
experiences. Let us embrace the journey of the
Holy Family as our own story, where our plans
and expectations shifted to accommodate Jesus
Christ in the messiness and beauty at the heart
of our life.
The star beckons, what or whom will we
find on our arrival? And who does Jesus see
Director of Pastoral Planning & Implementation
Tel (02) 9831 4911
The Annual Mass of
THE HOLY INNOCENTS
will be celebrated by
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen
Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne
at Our Lady of the Rosary
Church, 8 Diana Avenue,
at 11am on Monday
28 December 2015
Diocesan Development Fund
Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
growing needs of the
institutions and agencies within
the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
followed by a Rosary procession
to the Franciscan Shrine of the
Holy Innocents, 8 Greyfriar Place,
Lunch available. Please bring a plate to share.
Everyone welcome to pray for the protection of all
human life from conception to natural death.
Enquiries please phone
The Diocesan Development Fund Catholic Diocese of Parramatta (DDF) is not subject to the provisions of the Corporation Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved
by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Deposits with the DDF are guaranteed by CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose.
We welcome your investment with the DDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable,
Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church.
Neither the DDF nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Parramatta are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority;
contributions to the DDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959; the DDF is designed for investors who wish to promote
the charitable purposes of the DDF.
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 11
www.parra.catholic.edu.au @CatholicEdParra CatholicEdParra
In November, I was
blessed to join some of
our Catholic leaders on
pilgrimage in the Holy
Land. Surrounded by the displaced people of the wartorn
Middle East, it’s impossible not to be moved by
plight of those on a journey of uncertain destination.
That’s why in Bethlehem, together with a small group of
Principals from Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains,
I joined the Jump Up&Down 4Kids campaign (see page
12) to end the immigration detention of children.
There are over 200 children being held in immigration
detention by the Australian government. The evidence
about the impact of detention on children is damning
and the damage is lasting. You can join the Jump
Up&Down 4Kids campaign, started by the Sydney
Catholic Education Office, on Facebook or Twitter (see
#jumping4kids). I am so proud of the many schools,
students and staff across the Catholic Diocese of
Parramatta who have participated in this campaign to
support young people in detention.
In fact, a number of Catholic school students are
refugees and we can learn much from their resilience,
determination and generosity. We look forward to
meeting the new Syrian refugees who will arrive in
Australia in coming months with warmth, compassion,
care and friendship. As Pope Francis recently reflected,
“To give a child a seat at school is the finest gift you can
The Holy Father reminds us: “As you persevere in this
work of providing education for refugees, think of the
Holy Family, Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and the Child
Jesus, who fled to Egypt to escape violence and to find
refuge among strangers”. These powerful sentiments are
echoed in the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
2015 Social Justice Statement, ‘For Those Who’ve Come
Across the Seas’.
We will be sending home some information for
families about the Social Justice Statement and the
#jumping4kids campaign and I would encourage you to
learn more about this significant issue and how we might
support our brothers and sisters facing persecution and
Our pilgrimage finished in Rome where I was privileged
to address the Congregation for Catholic Education
World Congress. My conference paper (see page 13)
addressed the need to transform Catholic schooling and
to be countercultural - opening our hearts and minds to
the Catholic imagination.
As we approach Christmas, I was reminded of TS Eliot’s
poem, The Journey of the Magi, about the three Wise
Men’s homecoming from Bethlehem: “we returned
to our places...no longer at ease here”. Pope Francis’
challenge to us to go where the poor and marginalised
are, where Jesus was, should push us beyond the
comfort zone. I want to thank each and every member
of our community of faith and learning for rising to this
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate
Year 12 students on completing their 13 years of
schooling and their Higher School Certificate exams.
Our prayers are with you as you build on your Catholic
education and commence further study or work.
As we await the coming of the Christ child together, I
wish you all a happy and holy Christmas!
Jump Up&Down 4Kids
At midday on Friday 13 November 2015, primary
and secondary schools from across the Diocese of
Parramatta, as well as staff from the education office
participated in the Jump Up&Down 4Kids campaign against the
detention of children.
Throughout the year, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
schools have been raising awareness about the plight of refugees
and asylum seekers in Australia. The Jump Up&Down 4Kids
campaign was organised by the Catholic Education Office
St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill students jumped up and down
for children in detention.
Students from Loyola Senior High School, Mount Druitt.
Selfie for World Teachers’ Day
In the lead up to World Teachers’
Day on 30 October 2015, students
thanked their teachers by sending in
selfies with their teachers accompanied
by 25 words or less on what inspired
them about their teacher.
The winning entry came from Xavier
College, Llandilo student Tiffany
Anderson who nominated her teacher,
Justine Phillips. Justine won an iPad
mini and Tiffany won $200 worth of
Teachers from across the Diocese attending a Leading Mathematics and
Teaching course at St Joseph's Centre for Reflective Living, Baulkham Hills
took time to Jump 4 Kids.
Students from St Francis of Assisi Primary, Glendenning.
“Miss Phillips is a dedicated teacher who’s committed to her students, always
prepared in class and at shows, but never accepts the recognition she deserves,”
says Tiffany Anderson.
Executive Director of Schools
“An amazing teacher. Always helpful and always learning
from her. Constantly making an effort to relate to us.
Makes learning fun,” is what St Columba's Catholic College,
Springwood student Annabella Noussis-Stanisic had to say
about her teacher Megan Weaver.
"Miss Devine inspires me because she is so smart about the
body and bones. She comes up with interesting ideas. She is
kind and compassionate,” says Jacob Camilleri, St John’s Primary,
12 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
www.parra.catholic.edu.au @CatholicEdParra CatholicEdParra
Principals’ Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Pilgrims’ view of Vatican City.
During November, Catholic School principals from the
Diocese of Parramatta participated in a pilgrimage
to places of spiritual significance in Jordan, Israel,
Assisi and Rome. The pilgrimage, led by by Delegate of the
Diocesan Administrator Rev Christopher de Souza PP, also
included the Executive Director of Schools Greg Whitby,
Chancery representatives and Catholic Education senior
Since 2012, all principals in the Diocese have been offered
the opportunity to participate in the pilgrimage formation
experience including pilgrimages in the footsteps of St Paul
and an Australian pilgrimage focused on St Mary of the
St Canice’s Primary, Katoomba Principal Mark Geerligs
praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
“Each pilgrimage has provided a powerful formation
experience, strengthening the faith lives of our Catholic
leaders to support the faith formation of their school
communities,” Greg said.
“In addition to supporting principals in their work
of evangelisation, the pilgrimages have also forged
and strengthened collaboration and community between
principals across the system,” he said.
Pilgrims outside Bethlehem University.
Rev Christopher de Souza celebrating mass in St Peter’s
Photos: Thanks to Principal Mark Geerligs.
Executive Director of Schools challenges Vatican
Congress to make schools more relevant
On Friday 20 November 2015,
Executive Director of Schools
Greg Whitby delivered a keynote
address at the Congregation for Catholic
Education Congress of Catholic Schools of
the World in Rome.
Greg spoke passionately about the need
and urgency to transform Catholic
Education in Australia in his address
titled, ‘How do we sing the Lord’s song
in a strange land? A challenge to our
“Mrs Khattar inspires me to live a life like
Jesus. She warms my heart, stretches my
imagination and encourages me to achieve.
She is dazzling,” says Makayla Dalmati from
Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, Seven Hills.
For more school news, visit:
“Great Catholic schools have to be first
and foremost, excellent schools (The
Catholic School, 1977). We can no longer
make incremental changes if Catholic
schools want to be excellent schools.
They cannot be imitators of current
popular practice, they have to be uniquely
different,” Greg said.
“This challenges our very understanding
of what is taught, how it is taught, how
it is provided, who is involved and
increasingly how it is resourced and to
whom we are accountable. This requires
Executive Director of Schools Greg Whitby delivering his address ‘How do we sing the Lord’s song in a
strange land? A challenge to our Catholic imagination’.
a new and shared narrative - a narrative
that builds on our story but is relevant
to the context of today’s world and
continually enriched by the experience of
the generations we serve,” he said.
2015 is the 50th anniversary of the
Second Vatican Council’s Declaration
Gravissimum Educationis (Declaration
on Christian Education) and the 25th
anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution
Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the
Church). As part of these celebrations,
the Congregation aims to re-energise the
Church’s commitment to education.
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 13
www.parra.catholic.edu.au @CatholicEdParra CatholicEdParra
ICT trainee ranked top 30
in the world
recognised for outstanding
contribution to education
Former McAuley student
Dr Chow inspires next
generation Scientists and
Gurney becomes Highly
ICT trainee Dylan Pedavoli who came fourth in the
International Cisco NetRiders competition for the Asia
Pacific and Japan region.
On 15 October 2015, one of Catholic Education’s
ICT trainees, Dylan Pedavoli, came fourth in
the International Cisco NetRiders competition
for the Asia Pacific and Japan region. This puts
him in the top 30 in the world.
Dylan and fellow ICT trainees, Daniel Atalla
and Matthew Xerri, joined more than 10,000
individuals from 85 countries across seven
regions in the competition this year. ICT
trainee Daniel Atalla was also a finalist in the
Chief Innovation Officer Paul Meldrum said
the ICT traineeship demonstrates the Diocese’s
commitment to pre-post educational outcomes.
"The traineeships demonstrate the Diocese’s
commitment to the continued learning of
young adults in western Sydney,” Paul said.
“Dylan’s achievements, while extraordinary,
set the bar for us as a learning organisation in
developing strong enterprising partnerships,”
Dylan said the Cisco NetRiders competition
has assisted him in developing essential
technical, analytical and interpersonal skills
that have strengthened his future.
“The biggest factor that has contributed to my
success throughout the competition would
be the immense support and appreciation I
received from my family, friends and work
colleagues,” Dylan said.
Holy Spirit students get
behind Mission Week
Principal Peter Wade with students at the Delany
On 6 October 2015, Delany College, Granville
Principal Peter Wade received an Award for
Outstanding Contribution to Education,
presented by the Asian Education Leadership
Awards recognising the Delany Connective -
an innovative partnership with Telstra.
Peter said he was pleased to be able to accept
this award on behalf of the extraordinary team
he works with and who make the Delany
Connective so successful.
“This award is a reflection of the unique
partnerships that have come together, the
extraordinary work of the staff at the College,
and the immense support we have received
from Telstra and the Catholic Education Office,
Parramatta," Peter said.
Peter and Delany’s Leader of Connective
Learning Ivanka Rancic recently presented
their work at the Digital Education Show 2015
Marian teacher awarded
NSW Teachers' Guild Award
Dr Edith Chow, Susan O'Connell and students of
Catherine McAuley Westmead.
On Tuesday 11 August 2015, Catherine
McAuley Westmead hosted former student
and Senior Research Scientist at the
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO), Dr Edith
Chow, as part of the Scientists and
Mathematicians in Schools (SMIS) national
education program managed by the CSIRO.
Dr Chow spoke with Year 10 Science students
about her career with the CSIRO where she is
involved in research in nanotechnology and the
development of chemical sensors.
Year 10 student Hannah Fabros said Dr Chow's
work highlights the importance of investment
in nanotechnology as her invention has the
potential to contribute greatly to the health
First group of Year 12
students to receive nursing
On 2 September 2015, 13 Year 12 students
from nine schools across the Diocese were the
first group to graduate with a Certificate III in
Health Services Assistance (Acute Care). The
Nursing VET course was developed through
the cooperation of Western Sydney Health, the
University of Notre Dame, AusSIP and Catholic
Education in collaboration with Auburn
Brenton Gurney with Greg Whitby after becoming
accredited as a Highly Accomplished teacher.
On Thursday 29 October 2015, St Patrick’s
Marist College, Dundas’ Brenton Gurney
became accredited as Highly Accomplished
through the Board of Studies, Teaching and
Educational Standards (BOSTES).
Brenton, who is a Leader of Learning PDHPE,
is the second teacher in the Diocese to become
accredited at the Highly Accomplished level.
Brenton said he felt becoming accredited as
either Highly Accomplished or Lead was paving
the way for the future.
The course ran over two years at Auburn
District Hospital and enabled students to gain
two units towards their HSC and also counted
towards their ATAR. Successful students also
received early entry to the University of Notre
Dame’s nursing program.
Nursing VET students Jacques Khoury and Robert
Vallido from Parramatta Marist High with their
Students held activities during recess and lunch to
raise money for people living in poverty.
From 20-21 October 2015, students from Holy
Spirit Primary, St Clair held activities during
recess and lunch to raise money for people
living in poverty.
Principal Anne Hines said the Mission Week
activities at Holy Spirit are planned and run by
“This year, like previous years, we are expecting
to raise about $3,000 for those in need,” Anne
Religious Education Coordinator Lorraine
Alexander said that these initiatives empower
the students to know that they are not helpless
in today’s world and that they, young as they
are, can make a difference in the lives of others.
From left: Dianne Lowery (Leader of Learning -
Curriculum and Emma's Mentor Teacher), Emma
Morrow, Malcolm Hegarty (Leader of Learning -
Mathematics) and Renata Dragovic (Maths Teacher
and Leader of Learning - Pastoral Care).
On Saturday 5 September 2015, second year
Mathematics teacher at Marian Catholic
College, Kenthurst Emma Morrow received the
NSW Teachers' Guild Award for ‘2015 Senior
School winner of the Award for Excellence for a
teacher in their early years of teaching’.
Marian’s Assistant Principal Tammy Prestage
said Emma has been integral to the delivery
of Extended Mathematical Understandings
(EMU) strategies at Marian.
Expand your imagination by reading this
summer and you could win an iPad mini
Read as many books as you can, tell us why you love them,
and you could win one of four iPad minis. The more books
you read, the more chances you have to win*.
Enter online at www.parra.catholic.edu.au
Entries close 5 February 2016.
*Terms and Conditions apply
14 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
CATHOLICCARE SOCIAL SERVICES
Providing compassionate, professional and relevant support to the people in our diverse community
Offices at Blacktown, Emerton, Parramatta, Penrith, Springwood, call (02) 8822 2222
CatholicCare Social Services would like to wish everyone
a happy and safe Christmas
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated team of volunteers who give up their time and
effort to brighten the life of another. Thank you, for helping us to make a difference.
Our Head Office at 38 Prince Street will be closed from Friday, 24 December and
reopen on Monday, 4 January. For any further information including services and
programs being offered during 2016, please contact us on (02) 8822 2222.
CATHOLICCARE Social Services 2015
accessed our Baulkham Hills
Family Daycare service
who required support related
to the wellbeing of they or their
children accessed support from
Project Elizabeth at Penrith
and 43 children (including 45
Aboriginal families) accessed
support from our Houses to
Homes service at Quakers Hill
with a disability in the Blacktown
LGA received social support
and related services through
Blacktown Neighbour Aid
HEAD OFFICE MOVE
As of Monday 23 November 2015 our new head office
address will be:
38 Prince Street Blacktown
(corner of First Avenue)
Please confirm the address of your next appointment
when you call to book (02) 8822 2222.
sought financial counselling.
366 existing clients returned for
sought problem gambling
counselling. 428 existing clients
returned for individual sessions.
who were grieving the loss of a
spouse or adjusting to life after
separation accessed our Solo
accessed our Family Relationship
from Western Sydney accessed
our Family Support services
located at Blacktown, Penrith
gained support from Recover
Wellbeing, our new program for
individuals experiencing mental
RESIDENTS FROM THE
including fire affected people
accessed counselling and support
services provided by Springwood
80 * PRESCHOOL
from Mount Druitt participated
in HIPPY our Home Interaction
Program for Parents and
Youngsters preparing children
for school, hundreds accessed
counselling and around 50
children accessed our after
school homework program
accessed services provided by
our centre at Blacktown which
included supported playgroup; a
homework program; counselling;
parenting education; English
classes; community garden
1,444 * PEOPLE
attended Pre- marriage Education
or Marriage Enrichment courses
504 * PEOPLE
accessed our Natural Fertility
accessed our Healing and
67 * PEOPLE
Responsible Gambling Support Group is free and on
every Saturday, 9.30am-11am at CCSS Centre, 38
Prince St, Blacktown. Tel (02) 8822 2222 for more
Blacktown Neighbour Aid – can you volunteer one
hour a fortnight to brighten the life of an elderly
person in Blacktown? Contact Blacktown Neighbour
Aid to find out more on tel (02) 8822 2222, email
Living Skills Program is offered to young parents
and young people, 25 years and younger, who are
homeless or at risk of homelessness. Topics covered
include money, housing, education & training,
employment, health and wellbeing, daily living skills,
personal and social development, and legal rights
and responsibilities. Locations include Highfield
Rd, Quakers Hill, commencing second week of
February 2016, and Prince St, Blacktown, dates to
be confirmed. For further information, tel Youth
Rezolutions on (02) 9680 1201.
Post Separation Recovery Program – seven sessions
weekly from Wednesday 17 February 2016, 7.30pm-
9.45pm. CCSS Centre, 38 Prince St, Blacktown.
Fee $80. Bookings essential, tel (02) 8822 2222,
Bereavement Support Program – fortnightly on
Tuesdays for eight sessions from Tuesday 9 February
2016, 10.30am-12.30pm. CCSS Centre, 38 Prince St,
Blacktown. Fee $5 per session. Bookings essential,
tel (02) 8822 2222, email@example.com
Healing and Support Service – a therapeutic
case management service for people affected
by childhood sexual abuse or any other abuse,
perpetrated by a person or persons working for
the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Parramatta.
The service involves providing information, an
assessment of need, appropriate referrals for
counselling or other services, crisis intervention and
assisting the affected person determine what would
constitute an appropriate healing response from the
Diocese. Tel (02) 9933 0233.
Recover Wellbeing – recovery oriented program and
support groups for people living with depression and
bipolar and their families.
Cool Kids – The Cool Kids Program has been running
at Macquarie University since 1993. We are now
trained to deliver this program, which can support
families when children are experiencing high levels of
anxiety. For further information, tel (02) 9933 0222.
Houses to Homes (previously known as Catherine
Villa) provides transition housing and support for
pregnant girls and young mothers aged 25 years and
younger. For more information call (02) 9837 2095.
Keeping Kids in Mind program supports parents and
families after separation (group, counselling and case
management). Tel 1800 55 46 46.
CreateAbility Day Options provides a service for
people with disabilities. Offers opportunities and
programs tailored to fulfil individual needs and
aspirations. For further information send an email to
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 15
YEAR OF MERCY
OUR LOGO FOR THE YEAR OF MERCY
By Rev Paul Roberts, Director of the Institute for Mission
The Diocese of Parramatta has its own Mercy logo to
link in with the resources that will be used across
the Jubilee Year.
In order to have a symbol that could be applied to a lot of uses and printed in different
ways, it was decided to design a simple logo, but one that contained plenty of meaning.
And so, it picks up on key lines, shapes and concepts from both the Diocesan crest and
the Jubilee logo from the Vatican.
did you know...
The triangles on the Diocesan crest
represent the ancient mountains bounding
the diocese and the squiggles represent
our local rivers? And so on the Mercy
logo you’ll see the mountains with
the three rivers (Parramatta, Nepean
and Hawkesbury) cutting through the
foreground of the Cumberland Plain.
There are a number of design features to
highlight from the Diocesan Mercy logo:
It is presented within an almond shape called a mandorla (Italian for
almond). If you Google mandorla religious pictures you’ll immediately
see things such as Christ depicted within an almond shape. It’s
an ancient concept representing the union of two circles, or more
specifically, the place of intersection of seeming opposites. In
Christian art, Christ has often been shown in the mandorla as this
place of reconciliation and the union of heaven and earth. In the Year
of Mercy, in our place of the Diocese of Parramatta, we are called to
live this union as receivers and sharers of Christ’s mercy.
We are called to be agents of reconciling, enriching mercy for the
world around us. The opening words of Pope Francis’ background
document about the Jubilee are: Christ is the face of the Father’s
mercy. And we are the face of Christ, hence the caption on the logo;
mercy has a face!
Also notice the heart shape, formed by the
outline of faces. These mirror the faces
in the universal logo. In this place, the
Diocese of Parramatta, the heart of grace
of the cross forms us as a people, receivers
of mercy, to be mercy’s face! And so the
faces forming the heart are ours and they
are the faces of those with whom we share
God’s mercy. With our faces placed over
the landforms, we are reminded that God
has asked us to be stewards also of the
wider creation of which we are part. In
this wider creation, Pope Francis spoke of
the earth in his recent encyclical as itself
being amongst the most abandoned and
maltreated of our poor.
Various initiatives of our Diocese for the
Year of Mercy will include mercy towards
the earth as an important priority. In fact,
a series of prayers displayed in St. Patrick’s
Cathedral, Parramatta take up St Francis of
Assisi’s words in referring to our planet as
our sister, Mother Earth.
The highlighting of the first two letters in
the caption is intentional. As together in
the Year of Mercy we each give witness
to our dependence on God’s mercy and
grow as channels of mercy to the world,
may each of us be the ME in MERCY HAS A
16 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
YEAR OF MERCY
RECEIVING A JUBILEE INDULGENCE
What is it? How can I receive it?
Why is there a boat in the Cathedral?
A centrepiece of the Jubilee Year of Mercy symbolism in St Patrick’s Cathedral is a
boat! It’s a 1910 clinker built hull in restoration that has been generously loaned to
us. The scripture passage displayed in it links us to the frightened disciples in the boat
on the Sea of Galilee. And this further links us to ponder the threatening and stormy
realities of life for ourselves, for others and for each part of God’s creation. The Jubilee
Year of Mercy announces anew God’s desire to be with us in every struggle, challenge
and next step. Mercy is God’s uncompromising nature. Mercy is the shape of God’s
unconditional love as it embraces suffering, shame, indignity and marginalisation.
Mercy is God’s sea of love; inexhaustive; personal; cosmic; victorious; tender; ultimate!
When you enter St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta during the Year of Mercy, you will
find screens with themes running that will help you enter into various expressions of
the mercy story. Then, once further into the Cathedral chapel, you can begin a prayer
journey by reading the scripture story displayed in the boat. As you read it, you might
share from your heart with Jesus of your own story, or a story of situations or people
you care about.
One of the many focuses for the Year of Mercy that some have
asked about is the idea of the indulgence. The Church is a key
channel through which God’s grace and favour is communicated
and for this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis has encouraged us to
receive indulgences. In the Church’s tradition, an indulgence is a
gift of God to free us. It is given to us for the parts of our lives
where sin, even though forgiven, might leave us still needing to
make amends after our earthly lives.
There is the chance to write a prayer if you wish and place it in a prayer chest in the
boat. You can indicate if you’d like your prayer then to be displayed, kept private or
taken for a priest of the Diocese to offer it at Mass. And then you can walk around
the chapel, following a sequence of canvasses and special intentions that invite your
kind participation in various special prayer intentions for mercy. The themes displayed
encourage our share in God’s mission; our call to be the face of God’s mercy in the
Themes, images, prayers and activities will be offered through all of our Diocese’s
parishes and schools as the Year of Mercy unfolds. Our Diocese’s key electronic
channels will be:
www.mercyhasaface.org.au and #merCyhasaface
A way of receiving the gift of the indulgence through spiritual
actions is to commit to:
• Visiting the place of pilgrimage and entering through the
Door of Mercy
• Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation
• Receiving the Holy Eucharist
• Praying for the Pope and being in union with his
intentions as we commit to living active mercy
• Making the Profession of Faith and praying the Lord’s
There’s a fuller outline of this in the Cathedral’s special prayer
displays for the Year of Mercy. But in brief, to welcome the
indulgence, the Catholic tradition is that you can do these
actions in a one-day timeframe or spread the actions across
several days. Pope Francis has commented that he wants
those who are shut-in, sick or in prison to also receive gifts of
God’s Jubilee indulgences via adjusted means and our diocesan
chaplains and pastoral visitors will be assisting many people to
More will be shared with parishes and schools about the ways
Pope Francis also wants us to receive God’s loving indulgences
through many actions of mercy in the world to which we are
called and for which God’s grace enables us.
The Year of Mercy is certainly intended for us people of the
Church to receive mercy anew, but we would be a self-serving
people if that was the end of the story. From our receiving,
we are called to be missionaries of mercy! As Pope Francis
expressed in his message for WYD Krakow 2016:
In particular, this Holy Year of Mercy is a time for the Church to
rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord
on the day of Easter; to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 17
By Fr Walter Fogarty
Faith in Marriage
Conference - CatholicCare
By Allison McNally
As the Church commemorates the 50th
anniversary of the Second Vatican
Council’s ending, one of its final
documents, Nostra Aetate, Declaration on
the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian
Religions has come in for renewed attention.
Despite its brevity, only five short sections
totalling less than 2000 words, the declaration’s
impact is significant, continuing to shape
the Church’s evangelising mission within the
context of a multifaith world.
Born of St John XXIII’s desire for the
Council to make a statement on the Church’s
relation with Jews, Nostra Aetate in its final
version encompassed relations with the major
non-Christian religions. A meeting between
St John XXIII and Jules Isaac, a Jewish French
historian, in 1960 inspired the pope to direct
the Council to consider relations with Jews, it
had not been part of its original agenda. Not all
bishops were in favour, some arguing the issue
be removed from council proceedings.
Meeting in the aftermath of the Shoah, the
Holocaust, European bishops were particularly
conscious of the often negative history of
Christian-Jewish relations. Reflecting on this
history, Cardinal Edward Cassidy, former
President of both the Pontifical Council
for Promoting Christian Unity and the
Commission for Religious Relations with the
Jews, wrote ‘the history of these relations is
not one of which the Catholic Church can be
proud, since all too often it is a story of official
oppression and discrimination.’ Behind this
position was the Church’s belief that the Jewish
people were guilty of ‘deicide’ and had lost their
status as ‘God’s chosen people’. Aspects of this
negative attitude could be found within the
Church’s liturgy, particularly for Good Friday,
with the use of terms like ‘perfidious Jews’.
Bishops from Asia and Africa wanted any
declaration to go beyond Christian-Jewish
relations fearing it may be seen in the Arab
world as the Church favouring the state of
Israel. Responding to such concerns the
draft declaration included other religions,
specifically Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
It dismissed claims of deicide declaring ‘the
Music and Readings
Sunday 20 Dec 2015
at 7.30 pm
St Finbar’s Church
46 Levy Street, Glenbrook
Each year the special Christmas
service at St Finbar’s Church,
Glenbrook – Music and Readings
for Christmas – fills the beautiful
church to overflowing.
The massed choir, Penrith
Symphony Brass, harp, handbells
and solo artists will be conducted
by Robert Ampt with Amy
Johansen playing the beautiful
Join in congregational carols,
and experience the thrill of the
Hallelujah Chorus and For Unto
Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares
with the Jews and moved not by political
reasons but by the Gospel’s spiritual love,
decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-
Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and
Nostra Aetate has become a cornerstone
for the Church’s relations with other
religions. Embracing St John XXIII’s call for
‘aggiornamento’ (bringing up to date) through
its declaration the Church ‘exhorts her sons,
that through dialogue and collaboration with
the followers of other religions, carried out
with prudence and love and in witness to the
Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve
and promote the good things, spiritual and
moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found
among these men.’ Recognising God operative
in all cultures the Council acknowledged
‘there is found among various peoples a
certain perception of that hidden power which
hovers over the course of things and over the
events of human history… This perception
and recognition penetrates their lives with a
profound religious sense.’ Human beings, ‘one
[in] their origin’, regardless of culture, ‘struggle
to answer the same questions’ and ‘expect from
the various religions answers to the unsolved
riddles of the human condition, which… deeply
stir [their] hearts’. Shared human nature led the
Council to consider its ‘task of promoting unity
and love among men, indeed among nations’,
considering ‘above all… what men have in
Australian Catholic University academic,
Edmund Chia, argued at a recent conference on
Nostra Aetate that most Catholics are ‘ignorant’
of the Church’s teachings in this declaration
and display an ‘arrogance’ in relation to other
religions. Challenging such positions Nostra
Aetate concludes by teaching, ‘We cannot
truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse
to treat in a brotherly way any man, created
as he is in the image of God… The Church
reproves… any discrimination against men
or harassment of them because of their race,
colour, condition of life, or religion.’
Photo: Geoff Shalala
Us a Child is Born from Handel’s
immortal Messiah on this night of
There will also be special quiet
moments, including the singing
by all of the beautiful carol Silent
Night with the darkened church
illuminated only by candles.
As usual there will be a retiring
collection. Suggested minimum
donations – families $25,
individuals $10. Early arrival
is recommended. For more
information tel (02) 4754 1780.
18 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
Very Rev Fr Peter Williams addresses delegates.
The 3rd Annual Faith in Marriage
Conference was held on 23 August in
Parramatta. The theme of the conference,
‘Marriage – A Culture of Love & Life’, was
reflected in the addresses by the guest speakers
Jonathan Doyle and Tim and Lara Kirk as well
as the introductory comments by the Diocesan
Administrator, Very Rev Peter Williams.
Father Peter reminded us that the
Church offered a rich theology to inform
our understanding of marriage and this
understanding is founded on our knowledge of
God and Jesus Christ. Marriage is a vocation; a
calling from God to love.
Jonathan Doyle addressed the topic,
‘The world will be Saved by Beauty – How
Great Marriages can save the 21st Century’.
He encouraged attendees to be proactive in
communicating the truth, beauty and goodness
Jonathan gave a picture of the pressures
that exist to redefine marriage. He turned our
attention to Imperial Rome and the Christians
who lived out their faith. Their witness of faithfilled
marriages and their charity in caring for
divorced women and abandoned children had a
transformative effect on their culture.
He challenged us to work for such a
transformation in our society. He reminded
us that all people experiencing brokenness or
woundedness can be assisted and brought back
into the heart of the Church. The challenges
Jonathan Doyle from Choicez Media.
faced by young men and women in our society
were expanded, together with the necessity to
help them develop a new narrative.
In conclusion, Jonathon reminded the
audience that the Church was a mission and
encouraged all to develop a sense of mission,
find a place where you can serve, decide what
you can do to contribute and always ‘fix your
eyes’ on Christ.
The afternoon session was conducted by
Tim and Lara Kirk. Their address on ‘Marriage,
Faith and Family’ was a personal presentation
of what worked practically in their marriage
and with their children.
Tim stated that the Church existed to
evangelise and challenged the audience to think
about how we live out the call to evangelise.
He quoted Pope Francis who said that families
need to be witnesses. They need to show fidelity,
patience, openness to life, respect for the elderly
and presence of Jesus in the family.
Society needs functional families who are
illuminated by the good news of Jesus to be
credible witnesses. They are families who model
in their lives what they believe in their hearts,
they have Jesus in the centre.
A functional family is one that is hopeful,
where faith and love are integral, and they have
the capacity to repent and forgive. Lara spoke
engagingly about marriage as a sacrament, and
the need to be proactive in raising the next
generation of Catholics.
Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy
Fatima Day: Sunday December 13
Main Celebrant: Father Hugh Thomas C.Ss.R
Divine Mercy Devotions - First Sunday of the Month
Fatima Family Sunday: December 20
Upcoming celebrations in Our Shrine:
December 20: 10.50am Opening of the Holy Doors commemorating the Year of
Mercy, instituted by Pope Francis, followed by Solemn Mass at 11am.
Christmas Eve (December 24): 11.30pm Carol Service in English; Midnight Mass
in English (Shrine Church) and Polish (Bethlehem Chapel)
Christmas Day (December 25): 11am Solemn Mass in English (Shrine Church)
and Polish (Bethlehem Chapel)
New Year’s Eve (December 31): 11pm Exposition and devotions in the Shrine
Church followed by Mass at Midnight
Pauline Father’s Monastery
Address: 120 Hanging Rock Road, Berrima, NSW, 2577 Phone: 02 4878 9192
The Holy Spirit alive in Mount Druitt:
Former Loyola Students receive Diocesan Youth Award
By Elizabeth McFarlane
Michael Constantine Setefano and Walker Falemaota Aloiai. Photo: Elizabeth McFarlane.
annual re-enactment of the Stations
of the Cross on Good Friday. He
attended St Clare’s Catholic High
School from 2004-2007, where he
served on the Student Leadership
Council as President.
Walker and Michael were heavily
involved in two Catholic youth
movements of the Diocese, the
Parramatta Young Christian Students
(YCS) and Young Christian Workers
(YCW), and have been consecutively
employed as Coordinator of the YCS
The YCS and YCW are
international sister movements,
founded by Cardinal Joseph Cardijn.
The movements coordinate Catholic
action based on the ‘Cardijn’ method
of SEE, JUDGE, ACT and aim to
form leaders in the Review of Life,
a spiritual review of the everyday
that inspires double transformation
(transformation of self and situation).
The movements believe in peerto-peer
evangelising workers and students
“Walker and I bounced off each
other and we learnt a lot about each
other’s faith by sharing that journey
together. Getting to share my faith
was a big part of me wanting to be
a part of the YCS and I got exactly
what I wanted and more out of the
movement,” Michael said.
During their time in the YCS,
they assisted school-based and
parish YCS groups throughout the
Diocese. Walker also took on the
responsibility from 2013-2014 in
developing the Never Underestimate
the Students (NUTS) program: the
guidebook used by YCS to establish
groups across Australia.
Michael and Walker also
established a Leadership Camp for
the Parramatta YCS movement in
2014. The camp program trains
student leaders in the YCS movement
to lead from a servant leadership
model, based on the teachings of
Two former students of Loyola
Senior High School, Mount
Druitt have received the
inaugural 2015 Diocesan Citation
of Merit for Youth Award from the
Diocese of Parramatta.
This award encourages and
recognises the outstanding
contribution and service to the
Diocese of Walker Falemaota Aloiai
and Michael Constantine Setefano.
Walker and Michael have taken
on many faith leadership roles within
their own places of study and have
volunteered a great deal of time to
social justice initiatives within their
Walker is currently completing a
Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of
Arts with a double major in History
and Social Justice at the University
of Notre Dame, Sydney and Michael
is currently a teacher at St Clare’s
Catholic High School in Hassall
Walker was President of the
Student Representative Council
and Representative for Liturgy at
Loyola Senior High School, Mount
Druitt during his final year in 2009,
where he established a new branch
of leadership called Dei Gratia (by
the grace of God); the vision for
which was to enable more students
to develop skills in leadership and to
contribute to the school and to the
Mount Druitt community. Dei Gratia
is still in place today.
“We wanted to expand the
mantle of leadership and include
the student population in running
events, advertising events, reflecting
and debriefing on events. It was
probably one of the best initiatives in
bringing our cohort together,” Walker
Walker was also elected President
of the Student Association at the
University of Notre Dame, Australia
(SAUNDA) from 2011-2012. He has
also acted as an ambassador for the
university to promote its values and
courses to schools.
Michael has been an active
member of the Good Shepherd
Parish at Plumpton. He is also a
prominent member of the Antioch
group at Plumpton, where he has
led recruitment camps, served at
liturgies, and participated in the
Put those you love in the hands
of those who care
ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
1 Marist Place, Parramatta
MASS TIMES AND REGULAR SERVICE
Saturday 8am, 9:30am
(Mass in the Extraordinary Form – Latin),
6pm (Vigil) Sunday 8am, 9.30am (Family Mass),
11am (Solemn Mass), 6pm
Monday to Friday 6.45am,12.30pm
Public Holidays 8am
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Monday to Friday 11.15am-12.20pm
First Friday of the month 6pm-7pm
Sacrament of Penance
Saturdays 8.30am-9am, 5pm-5.30pm
Morning Prayer of the Church
Monday to Friday 6.30am
Saturday and Sunday 7.30am
Monday to Friday noon
Monday to Friday after Angelus at noon
Canticle of Our Lady’s
Baptism - Sunday 12.45pm
Marriages - By appointment
Contact the Parish Secretary
tel (02) 8839 8400 or email
Of all life’s celebrations the funeral liturgy can touch us the most
We prefer to place our trust and reliance on those who have the
skill and experience to plan a funeral that
has meaning and dignity.
At least that’s what Sydney families look
for when they choose WN Bull Funerals.
As the funeral liturgy expresses faith,
it also contextualises the life of the
deceased with traditional and
(02) 9519 5344 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.wnbull.com.au
Catholic OUT_Nov 2015.indd 1
18/11/2015 3:03 pm
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 19
Diocesan Gala Dinner
to raise funds for
By Adrian Middeldorp
On the morning of 15 October
2013, when many residents were
on their way to work and school
on the Bohol Island in central Visayas,
Philippines, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake
shook the entire region.
The earthquake, energy equivalent to
32 Hiroshima bombs, killed 222 people,
with eight declared missing and over 900
injured. As well as the human toll, 73,000
buildings were damaged – 14,500 totally
destroyed. Many parishes and schools in
the region were completely devastated.
Two years later at 8:12am on
Thursday 15 October 2015, on the second
anniversary of the earthquake, Church
bells were rung within the Diocese of
Tagbilaran for 33 seconds – the length of
the earthquake. The Most Rev Leonardo
Y Medroso D.D, Bishop of Tagbilaran,
reminded the faithful at a memorial Mass
at St Joseph’s Cathedral, Tagbilaran of a
small miracle in the Parish of Our Lady of
Loon, a centuries old church completely
destroyed by the earthquake.
“The people discovered their
patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary of
Institute For Mission Hall
1-5 Marion Street Blacktown 2148
Mondays 7pm - 9pm
Commencing 22nd February 2016
St Nicholas of Myra Parish
Meeting Room 1
326 High Street Penrith 2750
Wednesdays: 7pm - 9pm
Commencing 24th February 2016
Light, in the debris of their century old
Church. The statue was buried deep
down in the crumbling stones and coral
reefs. Having seen the hand of the statue
protruding from the ground, the people
started digging to recover it from the
“They found the statue, unscathed,
beautiful and dignified as ever. They made
a makeshift altar and placed the icon on
it for people to see and reflect. Then the
people remembered what Isaiah had said
while consoling the people who were
in exile. He said: “Can a mother forget
her own child? Even if a mother forgets
her own child, I will never forget you. I
have written your names in the palm of
my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15 – 16) Yes, their
existential questions of whether God is
for them or against them in the time of
calamity were answered by this mysterious
discovery of their patroness. The people’s
faith started to return. They have a God
who never forgets them; a mother, their
patroness, who always shelters them.”
As part of the first leg of the Diocesan
World Youth Day 2016 pilgrimage to
The Office for Worship is taking
enrolments for the next round of
Liturgical Ministry Formation Courses
beginning in February 2016.
This course is for all those interested
in becoming Readers of the Word,
Ministers of Holy Communion, Ministers
of Communion to the Sick and Dying,
Senior Servers and/or Acolytes.
There is no cost for these formation
courses and it is offered in two locations
on Mondays and Wednesdays at Blacktown
To obtain the enrolment form
email the OFW email@example.com
or visit: www.parra.catholic.org.au and follow the links.
Kraków, pilgrims from the Diocese
of Parramatta will assist seven of the
parishes in most need and will be working
alongside Filipino youth; teaching,
mentoring, painting, preparing vegetable
gardens, feeding malnourished children
and completing minor repairs.
They will also be involved in a major
project of building a Learning Centre for
Sacred Heart Academy (756 students) in
Our Lady of Light Parish, Loon. Students
in schools in the area are, to this day,
receiving lessons in makeshift classrooms.
The projects undertaken at WYD will
be funded by proceeds from a Gala Dinner
on Friday, 19 February 2016. The Dinner,
to be held at the Westella Renaissance,
Lidcombe, will include a three course meal
including wine, beer and soft drinks.
Keynote speakers will include Greg
Whitby, Executive Director of Schools,
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta;
Fr Joel Ruyeras, Parish Priest of Our Lady
of the Light Parish, Diocese of Tagbilaran;
and entertainer, Mr Adam Scicluna. Funds
raised from the evening will go entirely to
the rebuilding projects.
WYD Gala Fundraiser
Venue: Westella Renaissance, Lidcombe
Date: Friday 19 February 2016
Cost: Tickets from $100
For more details:
IN SUPPORT OF THE MISSION ENCOUNTER
PROGRAM IN THE PHILIPPINES
FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2016
6.30PM FOR 7PM
Grand Ball Room
WESTELLA RENAISSANCERECEPTION HOUSE
3 NEW STREET, LIDCOMBE NSW 2141
Sue Atkinson - 9840 5656
20 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
Parish Secretaries ‛have to
be the face of Christ’
By Elizabeth McFarlane
Being a Parish Secretary is
a lot like being the knife
and fork of a community,
according to Malia Lolesio, Parish
Secretary for Holy Family Parish
in Mount Druitt.
“The food is fulfilment and
the Parish Secretary helps you
receive it,” she said.
Malia was appointed Parish
Secretary in February 2013, but
being a parish secretary isn’t just
work to her.
“It’s using my gifts to give
back for the work of God. I was
looking for something where I
could serve Him best and to me
this was it,” she said. But that
doesn’t mean Malia doesn’t find
the role challenging at times.
“I thought working for a
parish would be easy but it is
probably the most challenging. It
really challenges me personally,
as I am the first person that
everybody encounters when they
come into the parish. I have to be
the face of Christ. I have failed
many times but working for the
parish is a great test for being
truly Christian,” she said.
The Mount Druitt community
is Malia’s community, having
been a member of the parish
choir with her father who is Holy
Family’s Music Director, and
graduating from Loyola Senior
“Mount Druitt is community
centred and that is because of its
humility. You have people from
all walks of life here. You see the
struggles and you see people’s
achievements, and that helps
you to see the world in just one
“But it can be challenging
working here because there are
so many people in need, and
(sometimes) you can’t help them
or offer them what they want.
But I always try to look through
Malia Lolesio. Photo: Elizabeth McFarlane.
their lens to understand them. I
need to try and find ways to help
them,” she said.
But the benefits far outweigh
the challenges for Malia.
“I would recommend being a
parish secretary. I have learnt so
much working in the parish and I
think it has helped me grow. But
expect the unexpected always.
People just come in at random
times needing things done and
you just need to drop everything
and help them first. What I’m
actually supposed to do starts
from 4pm onwards,” Malia joked.
Being a parish secretary
has provided Malia with many
opportunities and experiences.
She was sponsored by the parish
to attend WYD in Spain in 2011
with the mission to learn how to
engage youth in the parish. She
has since started a youth choir,
which has now grown to become
a youth group, meeting not just
to practise songs but to learn
about the faith. They ran their
first youth retreat this year.
“I think being a reasonably
young parish secretary has
allowed me to get young people
to realise that they are a part
of the parish. They don’t have
to wait until they’re 60 to get
involved; they can start now,” she
Time of reflection and celebration
for parish secretaries
By Elizabeth McFarlane
Photos: Elizabeth McFarlane.
All year round, a faithful
legion of women and men
serve many requests and
demands to keep our parishes
In gratitude for their
professional expertise and service,
the Parish Secretaries Day was held
at the Chancery in Parramatta on 2
Parish secretaries and office
staff came together to celebrate
the achievements and milestones
for 2015, while hearing about
developments and changes within
the Diocese planned for the New
The day included tours by
Chancery staff, a reflection from
Rev Paul Roberts and official
updates and news in the form of
presentations from the Diocesan
Administrator, Very Rev Peter
Williams, and the Chief of
Operations & Finance, Geoff Officer.
Fr Peter was the principal
celebrant for Mass in St Patrick’s
Cathedral, which was followed by a
celebratory lunch at El-Phoenician
Restaurant for some delicious
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean
cuisine. A few lucky secretaries won
A great day was had by all,
with many new faces getting the
opportunity to meet those who had
served their parishes for many years.
For more images of the event,
please visit: www.flickr.com/
Allan Drew OAM, JP
Supporting families in a time of need is
what Allan from Allan Drew Funerals
has done best for more than 25 years.
Tel (02) 9680 1344
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 21
New team to renew focus on service delivery to parishes
By Adrian Middeldorp
The Diocese of Parramatta Parish Support Team (from left): Yun Sun, Joe Cashman, Cheryl Lim, Lee Netana, Desiree Rashada, Alfie
Ramirez, Lorabel Ingco, Richard McMahon, Allan Ouma, Amy Donohue, Lienntje Cornelissen, Adrian Middeldorp. Absent: Maureen
Sewell. Photo: Elizabeth McFarlane.
The Chancery of the Diocese
of Parramatta is renewing
its focus on service
delivery to parishes through the
establishment of a dedicated
Parish Support Team. The team
comprises staff from various
departments across the Chancery:
(including Human Resources),
Safeguarding and Professional
Standards, Property and
Communications, and aims
to offer specialised services to
The establishment of the
team came out of the Pastoral
Initiatives of Faith in Our Future,
2014-2018 Diocesan Pastoral Plan,
whereby actions to be undertaken
“A comprehensive review
and restructure of the Chancery
will be undertaken to achieve
a renewed focus on ‘service
delivery’ to stakeholders and best
practice in administration and
Geoff Officer, Chief of
Operations and Finance for the
Diocese of Parramatta, believes
that the Chancery has an
imperative to serve its parishes,
and that this team will renew this
“Service delivery to our
parishes is a vital role for all
Chancery staff and this team
has been given the mandate to
provide solutions for the parishes
in an efficient manner,” he said.
“By helping the parishes, we
are enabling them to better serve
the people of God in Western
Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Other dioceses have support
teams, but they are often separate
units – the members of this unit
belong in different departments
but come together to meet, so they
can provide timely responses.”
A key part of the initiative
will be the roll-out of an online
ticketing system that will monitor
and track queries within the
Chancery as they arise to ensure
that matters are dealt with
comprehensively. However, it is
the human interaction that is the
priority for Geoff.
“Our online systems and
methods are just tools for the
team, what matters is that the
Parish Support Team sees the
work of Christ within the human
interactions and practical support
and advice they provide to the
parishes,” he said.
“When clergy and staff from
the parishes call the Chancery,
the Parish Support Team now
has clear timeframes to respond
to their queries. The team is also
working with service providers to
offer different business solutions
to parishes and to leverage greater
buying power to help decrease
A priest in the Andes
annointing the sick
22 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015
Safeguarding Support for Ministry
By Paul Davis, Director of the Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards
The Diocese of Parramatta
gives the highest priority
to ensuring that ministry
in the Diocese is safe for all of
those who lead or engage in it. I
wish to acknowledge the vision
and commitment of our Diocesan
Administrator, Very Rev Peter G
Williams, who ensures that resources
and services are available through
the Office for Safeguarding and
Professional Standards to achieve this
During the course of 2015,
the Office for Safeguarding and
Professional Standards has delivered
presentations to many groups
including leaders of diocesan agencies
and clergy, parish groups, youth
teams, Chancery staff, Catholic
Education Office school principals
and members of their leadership
teams. On each occasion we learn
more about the unique contexts
within which these ministries
operate, and as a result we hope that
our office is able to effectively target
our services so that we meet your
Our Training and Compliance
Officer, Ms Asante Viswasam, is
currently preparing our training
calendar for 2016. Our approach to
training next year will be significantly
different as we will soon be in a
position to offer a broad range of
safeguarding training opportunities
on a diverse range of subjects for
those leading ministry in the Diocese.
We recognise that closer
engagement with parishes and local
clusters would facilitate a better
understanding of the issues arising
and services required in order
to proactively address the safety
of children and other vulnerable
groups. For this reason, we will look
forward to establishing the role of
Safeguarding Officer in local parishes
or clusters of parishes; this will ensure
Office for Safeguarding staff (from left) Corrina Serrano, Asante Viswasam and Paul Davis
(Director). Photo: Adrian Middeldorp.
that there are many local points of
contact throughout the Diocese in
2016. More information about this
initiative will be circulated in early
In previous years the Diocese
has published numerous editions of
the Youth Safety Manual. This is an
important resource that provides
practical guidance related to the
effective management of risk when
planning activities and events for
children and young people.
Next year we will produce a new
edition of this manual, however its
focus will be significantly broader
so that it includes resources and
guidance on safeguarding generally.
Safeguarding Response Campaign
Earlier in 2015, we launched an
extensive media campaign that was
designed to encourage people who
had been affected by child sexual
abuse at the hands of Church workers
in the Diocese of Parramatta to
make contact with our office. As a
result of this initiative more than 60
courageous people made contact with
our response line, many of whom
continue to receive support services.
We are grateful to those people
who made contact with us and
we welcome others who have
experienced harm in the past to
contact our office so that we may
offer support and assistance if it is
appropriate to do so.
On 7 December, Ms Claire Pirola
will commence in the role of Manager
of the Office for Safeguarding and
Professional Standards. Claire has
qualifications in Law and Social
Work and brings great expertise and
many years’ experience to this role.
Claire’s duties will include the general
oversight of the operations of the
Office as well as engagement with key
external stakeholders including NSW
Police, the NSW Ombudsman and
the Office of the Children’s Guardian.
I know that Claire is keen to get to
know more about the Diocese of
Parramatta and to commence her
work in our office.
At times the work of the Office
for Safeguarding and Professional
Standards can be quite challenging
but it is always rewarding, especially
when we have had the opportunity
to work with those leading ministry
in the Diocese. We are particularly
grateful for the wonderful support
that we receive from our parish
priests and clergy of the Diocese;
their commitment to making
ministry safe provides great hope for
the future of our Church.
HOLY HOUR FOR VOCATIONS IN
ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL
Join the Holy Hour for Vocations with adoration, prayer,
music and quiet time from 7pm-8pm in St Patrick’s
Cathedral, 1 Marist Plc, Parramatta.
CHRISTMAS CAROLS AT THE SHRINE
AT MT SHOENSTATT
An evening of carol singing at the Shrine. Bring
a blanket or chairs and snacks. Children dress as
angels and shepherds. From 7pm-8.30pm outside Mt
Schoenstatt Shrine, 230 Fairlight Rd, Mulgoa.
MUSIC AND READINGS FOR
CHRISTMAS AT ST FINBAR’S
Features massed choir, Penrith Symphony Brass, harp,
handbells and solo artists. Join in congregational carols
and experience the thrill of the Hallelujah Chorus from
Handel’s Messiah. Starts 7.30pm in St Finbar’s Church,
46 Levy St, Glenbrook.
MASS OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS
AND ROSARY PROCESSION
Mass celebrant Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM
Conv. At 11am at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 8
Diana Ave, Kellyville. Followed by rosary procession to
the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. Everyone is welcome
to pray for the protection of all human life from
conception to natural death.
SCHOENSTATT GIRLS CAMP
Camp for girls aged 10-14 to explore how our faith
connects with our everyday lives. With prayer, craft and
fun activities. From 4pm on Friday 8 January to 4pm
on Sunday 10 January. Home of Light, Mt Schoenstatt,
230 Fairlight Rd., Mulgoa. Cost: $90. RSVP Monday
21 December to Sr M Luka 0439 537 843, sr.m.luka@
FREE RETIREMENT PLANNING
SEMINAR IN PARRAMATTA
Australian Catholic Superannuation presents this FREE
seminar on how to optimise your savings for retirement
and potentially save tax with an account-based pension.
From 10am-1.30pm at Parramatta Leagues Club, 13-15
O’Çonnell St, Parramatta. Bookings tel 1300 658 776,
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or send cheque/money order for $25
Tyburn Priory, 325 Garfield Road East
RIVERSTONE NSW 2765
CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 23
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