Catholic Outlook December 2015

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The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta | www.catholicoutlook.org


Wishing all our readers a Joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year


Very Rev Peter G Williams



3, 9

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

human beings?

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

recently witnessed.

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.”

John 3:16

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

Diocesan Administrator











The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta


Very Rev Peter G Williams

Diocesan Administrator

Tel (02) 8838 3400

Fax (02) 9630 4813

PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750

Email: diocese@parra.catholic.org.au

Website: www.parra.catholic.org.au


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Tel (02) 8838 3409


PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750


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2 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015


www.parrafamlife.org.au @parrafamlife parrafamlife

By Ben Smith, Director of the Family & Life Office


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


Farewell to

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

extended family”.

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

Peter said.

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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The Diocesan Administrator, Very Rev

Peter G Williams, has confirmed the

following appointments in the Catholic

Diocese of Parramatta:

Rev Fr Andrew Bass

Parish Priest

Holy Trinity, Granville, and

Holy Family Parish, East Granville

Rev Fr Jolly Chacko MS

Parish Priest

St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook

Rev Fr Peter Confeggi

Parish Priest

Mary, Queen of the Family Parish,


Rev Fr Walter Fogarty

Parish Priest

Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead

Rev Fr Zakaria Gayed

Parish Priest

St John the Evangelist Parish, Riverstone

Rev Fr Giovani Presiga Gaviria


Sacred Heart Parish,


From 18 December 2015

Rev Fr Zvonimir Gavranovic

Assistant Priest

St Michael’s Parish, Baulkham Hills

From 18 December 2015

Rev Fr Wim Hoekstra

Parish Priest

St Michael’s Parish, Baulkham Hills

Priest Responsible for Priests

Rev Fr Tovia Lui

Assistant Priest

St Paul the Apostle Parish, Winston Hills

Rev Fr Reginaldo Lavilla MSP

Assistant Priest

St Matthew’s Parish, Windsor

Rev Fr Alejandro Lopez OFM Conv

Parish Priest

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville

Rev Fr Michael O’Callaghan

Parish Priest

Our Lady of the Way Parish, Emu Plains

Rev Fr Janusz Pawlicha OSPPE

Parish Priest

St Margaret Mary’s Parish, Merrylands

Rev Fr Joseph Thomas

Assistant Priest

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

Community Centre.

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

October 2015.

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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Invest in young Catholics attending World Youth Day

By James Camden, Director of Catholic Youth Parramatta



Our World Youth Day Group

Leaders and Chaplains have

been announced for our

Diocese of Parramatta pilgrimages

next year.

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

final price.

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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6 CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015




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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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”

(Jn 2:5).

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


Pope Francis:

“The relationships

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.”

(MV 8)

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

our community.

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)


Mass for World Day of the Sick


Bulk Billing for GP Services


Monday-Friday 8.00am-6.00pm

Saturday & Sunday 9.00am-2.00pm

Public Holidays to be advised




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

of Mass

St Patrick’s Church, 51 Allawah Street, Blacktown

All welcome

in acknowledgment of carers

and those for whom they care





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

• WorkCover

• Pre-employment Medicals

• Travel Medicine


• 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

and pensioners

• 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


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

women’s ‘genius’.

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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CS106 150915 Catholic Outlook 260wx165h_v1.indd 1


CatholicOutlook | DECEMBER 2015 9

16/09/2015 12:48 pm


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




800 years

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

wasn’t ready.

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

visit: www.catholicoutlook.org

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:







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

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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

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For further information contact:

Holy Family Services

Registered Training Organisation

Tel (02) 9678 8200

email: educator@holyfamilyservices.com.au






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

Catholic faith.

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

in us?

Richard McMahon

Director of Pastoral Planning & Implementation

Tel (02) 9831 4911


The Annual Mass of


will be celebrated by

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen

OFM Conv

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

Supporting the

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

(02) 9629-2595

Disclosure Statement

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

challenge daily.

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

iTunes vouchers.

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.

Greg Whitby

Executive Director of Schools


blog: bluyonder.wordpress.com

“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

Cross MacKillop.

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

Catholic imagination’.

“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

Delany Connective

recognised for outstanding

contribution to education

Former McAuley student

Dr Chow inspires next

generation Scientists and


Teacher Brenton

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,”

he said.

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

in Dubai.

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

District Hospital.

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

the students.

“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





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

100 *




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



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

individual sessions






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

Parent Services


accessed our Family Relationship

Counselling service


from Western Sydney accessed

our Family Support services

located at Blacktown, Penrith

and Springwood

300 +


gained support from Recover

Wellbeing, our new program for

individuals experiencing mental





including fire affected people

accessed counselling and support

services provided by Springwood




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

2,500 *



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

and seminars.

504 * PEOPLE

accessed our Natural Fertility


accessed our Healing and

Support Service


* approximately

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, soloparentservices@ccss.org.au

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





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






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

do so.

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


Interfaith Dialogue:

Nostra Aetate

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

for christmas

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

heritage organ.

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

by anyone.’

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

Christmas joy.

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

of marriage.

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

Penrose Park

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

Email: paulinefathers@yahoo.com.au

Website: www.penrosepark.com.au

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

in Parramatta.

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

evangelisation; workers

evangelising workers and students

evangelising 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


1 Marist Place, Parramatta


Weekend Masses

Saturday 8am, 9:30am

(Mass in the Extraordinary Form – Latin),

6pm (Vigil) Sunday 8am, 9.30am (Family Mass),

11am (Solemn Mass), 6pm

Weekday Masses

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

Weekdays 11.15am-12.20pm

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

Marian Movement

Friday 1pm

Christian meditation

Tuesday 9.30am-10.15am

Baptism - Sunday 12.45pm

by appointment

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

contemporary elements.

(02) 9519 5344 | wnbull@wnbull.com | 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

earthquake rebuilding

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

Liturgical Ministry

Formation Courses

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

and Penrith.

To obtain the enrolment form

email the OFW ofw@ifm.org.au

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:







6.30PM FOR 7PM

Grand Ball Room



RSVP: events@parra.catholic.edu.au

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

High School.

“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

raffle prizes.

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:

Finance, Administration

(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

communication”. (150)

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


& Gleeson


Catholic Outlook

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


Safeguarding Presentations

and Training

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

safeguarding needs.

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.

Safeguarding Officers

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


Safeguarding Manual

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.

New staff

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.

Thank you

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.








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.



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.



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 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.






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@




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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