Catholic Outlook August 2016

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

VOLUME 19, AUGUST 2016 | PHOTO: Adrian Middeldorp

WYD pilgrims

experience the

Face of Mercy

on the way to


Way of Mercy


Experience the love and mercy of God



Way of Mercy Gathering

& Commissioning Mass


Excerpts from the homily given by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv for Mass with Commissioning of Way of Mercy

Representatives. Photos by Art in Images. To read the Bishop's homily in full, visit parracatholic.org/bishop/

'Being the face of a merciful God and

a merciful church is not something

reserved to the elite or the extraordinary.

It is an integral part of our Christian life

and mission.'

'Through the lens of mercy, we learn to be a missionary and inclusive Church – a Church

that reaches out to those who struggle and fall short of the Christian ideal; a Church

that does not demean or marginalise people on account of their sexual orientation, their

marital status or their life circumstances.'

The Way of Mercy: How do I get involved?

Parishes, schools and movements in the Diocese of Parramatta are encouraged to experience the love and mercy of God.

Here are some of the ways in which you can be involved in the Way of Mercy.

1 2 3 4

Be a Mercy


help animate

and link people

to the Way of

Mercy from

your local


Offer areas

of giftedness

and support

with your

community (eg

prayer ministry,



Identify a Face

of Mercy you

offer to the

wider society in

and through your


Join the Travelling

Mercy Team:

accompanying the

Cross of Mercy and

Relics during the

journey, providing

logistical and prayerful



Be part of the

Catechesis and

Support Team:

offering support

to communities

seeking formation

during the Way of


For more information please contact the Pastoral Planning Office tel (02) 8838 3460,

pastoralplanning@parra.catholic.org.au or visit mercyhasaface.org.au

Way of Mercy
























For more information




168 Hawkesbury Road,



Cnr Windsor & Bourke Sts













46 Levy Street, Glenbrook

Social Justice Sunday















326 High Street, Penrith



















230 F















168 H
























The Way of Mercy will be launched on Monday 8 August in St Patrick’s

Cathedral. Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv will preside at a Mass at 10am,

which will be followed by a procession with the Cross of Mercy and Relics.

Everyone is welcome.




Allawah Street, Blacktown








7 8


1 Marist Place, Parramatta

Quakers Hill






6 Baulkham Hills

Seven Hills

5 1




Cross of Mercy

In 1990, the Redemptorists came to

Richmond Parish to give a mission where

they engaged the interest and imagination

of parishioners. The focal point of the

mission was a large cross, built by the

late Paul Kupfer, which was central to the

prayers of the faithful.

On Good Friday each year it is carried into

St Monica’s Church at the time of adoration

of the cross. This action has touched

the lives of many over the years and has

brought a realism to what Jesus did for us.

St Mary of the

Cross MacKillop

St Mary MacKillop is our diocesan patron. The

relic is a strand of her hair and was provided

to the Diocese by the Sisters of St Joseph

following Mary’s canonisation in 2010.

Mary worked in the community, reaching

out to the poor to raise them up through the

service of education. She visited St Nicholas

of Myra Primary at Penrith, the first Josephite

school established in the Diocese in 1852.

Blessed Mother

Teresa of Kolkata

Fr Paul Roberts EV has provided the

relics of Blessed Mother Teresa – a

message and a card.






1-5 Chetwynd Road, Merrylands










The message was hand written by her in

January 1986 when Fr Paul met Mother

Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity

at the home for the dying in Kolkata.

She wrote a message for his students at

Gilroy Catholic College, Castle Hill, where

he was a teacher before becoming a


After she wrote the message, Mother

Teresa hurried from the room and returned

with a small card which reads:

The Fruit of Silence is Prayer

The Fruit of Prayer is Faith

The Fruit of Faith is Love

The Fruit of Love is Service.


Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv




Dear friends,

We have had a very interesting

Federal Election 2016. Many

would see the results as a wake-up call for

politicians, especially those of the governing

party. The voters’ loyalty can never be taken

for granted. It remains to be seen if the lesson

of the election will be heeded.

As a bishop, I feel that I need to be even more

attentive and responsive to the needs of my

constituency. At least, in the civil sphere, the

citizens get to vote for their representatives.

In the church, you don’t vote for bishops. (I

might not have been here if you did!)

The church is not a democratic institution.

However, this does not mean that bishops

are not accountable to the people, either. On

the contrary, our culture of accountability,

particularly in the wake of the clerical sexual

abuse crisis, demands that bishops are open,

transparent and responsible to the people

entrusted to their care.

In these past few weeks since my

Installation, I have been on a steep learning

curve. I have met with many individuals,

groups and agencies. Thanks to them, I have

been informed of the many blessings and

challenges that we face as a Diocese. I have

also begun to visit parishes and communities

in order to get to know the people in their

particular pastoral environments.

As I familiarise myself with the Diocese, I

appreciate more and more the work that has

been done and the past leadership that has

enabled the Diocese to be where it is today.

For example, I am overall pleased with the

way the Diocese approaches the Professional

Standards issues. The Office for Safeguarding

and Professional Standards that co-ordinates

our response in all diocesan institutions and

the pastoral way with which we accompany

victims of sexual abuse are the legacy that I

cherish and commit myself to strengthen

going forward.

Very soon, I will meet with victims

and victim support groups with a view to


3 & 4 AUGUST: Mass with conferral of the Sacrament of

Confirmation, 7pm at St Matthew’s Parish, Windsor

4 AUGUST: Mass of the Memorial of St John Vianney with

clergy of the Diocese

5 AUGUST: Meets with Secretary General of the Pontifical

Foundation of Aid to the Church in Need

7 AUGUST: Mass of the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time at

10am with the Installation of Very Rev John McSweeney EV

as Parish Priest of St John XXIII Parish, Stanhope Gardens;

Celebration of Thanksgiving at Mary MacKillop Place

8 AUGUST: Mass of the Solemnity of St Mary of the Cross

MacKillop with launch of the Way of Mercy, 10am at St

Patrick’s Cathedral; Solemn Vespers II of St Mary of the Cross

MacKillop with the presentation of Diocesan Awards, 7.30pm

at St Patrick’s Cathedral

10 AUGUST: Permanent Committee of the Australian

Catholic Bishops Conference

Many of our WYD pilgrims undertook a missionimmersion

experience in the Philippines on their

way to Krakow.


establishing a relationship with them, one

that is based on mutual trust, respect and

commitment to justice and healing.

While on this subject, the Diocese has been

called to appear before the Royal Commission

into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual

Abuse under Case Study 44, which is

concerned with the allegations of child sexual

abuse by John Joseph Farrell.

This case study is important as it will allow

the survivors and their families a chance

to have their voices heard. We must listen

compassionately and with great care in order

to ensure the hurt and failures of the past

are never repeated. We are committed to

continuously reviewing and improving our

child protection policies and procedures.

Furthermore, we can no longer limit the

blame to the individual perpetrators or

enablers, but must also look for factors within

the very culture of the Church that have

contributed to the sexual abuse crisis.

For unless we have the courage to see how

far we have drifted from the vision of Jesus,

unless we are prepared to go beyond the

symptoms and explore the deeper issues that

lurk behind the surface, we will have failed the

test of our integrity, discipleship and mission.

Pope Francis often denounces church

leaders who abuse power and act with

arrogance, intolerance and myopia.

He cautions against the diseases of

clericalism. Unhealthy leaders will result in

an unhealthy church.

The crisis we are facing can turn into

an opportunity for true renewal when

we, especially the leaders of the church,

are committed to the task of reclaiming

the innocence and powerlessness of the


Fr Chris de Souza EV, Episcopal Vicar for

Education, is leading a contingent of more

than 300 young pilgrims from our Diocese

to WYD Krakow in Poland. As part of the

pilgrimage, many of them have undertaken

a mission-immersion experience in the

Philippines. It is a sign of hope that we have

such a strong representation and committed

young Catholics.

The events in France and Turkey have

heightened concern for the security of

travellers. I can assure parents and relatives

of the pilgrims that we have taken every

measure in our duty of care in order to ensure

their safety and wellbeing.

At the end of the day, we entrust our pilgrims

to the care of our God and accompany them

with our love and prayers. May the experience

of WYD deepen their relationship with God,

which will in turn have a lasting impact on

their lives and relationships with others.

Once again, thank you for welcoming me

into our great Diocese. Please continue to

pray for my ministry among you as I also do

for you all.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

16 & 17 AUGUST: Mass with conferral of Sacrament of

Confirmation, 7pm at St Matthew’s Parish, Windsor

18 AUGUST: Delivers the Ann D Clark Lecture, Catholic

Education Parramatta

19-23 AUGUST: Federation of Catholic Bishops of Oceania

in PNG

24 AUGUST: Mass of the feast of St Bartholomew with

Episcopal Ordination of two Auxiliary Bishops of Sydney at St

Mary’s Cathedral

26 AUGUST: Mass with conferral of Sacrament of

Confirmation, 7pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral

28 AUGUST: Mass of 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 11am

at St Patrick’s Cathedral

30 AUGUST: Mass with conferral of Sacrament of

Confirmation, 7.30pm at Corpus Christi Parish, Cranebrook

31 AUGUST: Mass with conferral of Sacrament of

Confirmation, 5pm & 7.30pm at Corpus Christi Parish,














The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta


Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv

Bishop of Parramatta

Tel (02) 8838 3400

Fax (02) 9630 4813

PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750

Email: bishop@parra.catholic.org.au

Website: www.parracatholic.org


Jane Favotto

Tel (02) 8838 3409


PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750


Adrian Middeldorp

Elizabeth McFarlane


Mathew De Sousa

Sarah Falzon

School news:

Catholic Education Office

Tel (02) 9840 5609



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Tel (02) 8838 3409


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Tel (02) 8838 3437



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40,500 copies of Catholic Outlook are

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is copyright and may not be reproduced

without permission of the editor. Catholic

Outlook is a member of the Australasian

Catholic Press Association.





7, 23







2 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


World Day of

Migrants and


By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA,

Social Justice Coordinator

THE CHURCH celebrates World Day of

Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 28

August. In the Diocese of Parramatta,

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv will launch a

resource kit at the All Saints of Africa Centre on

Saturday 20 August from noon-1.30pm.

This event is part of the Way of Mercy with

the Cross and Relics of St Mary of the Cross

MacKillop and Blessed Teresa of Kolkata (see

wraparound on this issue).

A refugee from Vietnam in the 1970s, Bishop

Vincent is the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and

Refugees and Chair of the Australian Catholic

Social Justice Council.

At the launch, hear the voices and stories of

newly arrived communities from Africa and

the Pacific as they experience integrating into

the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue


Listen to the voices of our World Youth Day

pilgrims who have just returned from Krakow

and celebrate the multicultural diversity of our


All chaplains, migrant communities, parish,

school and community members are welcome.

For further details, send an email to Sr Louise at:


Kenthurst Table Talk

The evening of 22 July saw a new conversation

begin, hosted by the social justice group and

parish community of St Madeleine's Parish at


The aims of the evening were to listen deeply

to the story of a person seeking protection in

our country and to reflect on actions that we

as a community can support to foster both the

human dignity and the common good of our


The hospitality of the parish around a shared

meal set the scene for building new friendships

and engaging in very meaningful conversation.

Changing the conversation table talks have

been initiated by the Sydney Alliance to create

awareness about the issues and the needs of

asylum seekers and refugees.

We also aim to inform ourselves about the

differences in policies and experiences of a



#1 in Australia

Overall quality

of educational


#1 in Sydney

Migrant and Refugee Week takes place from 22-28 August.

refugee and a person seeking asylum. We

work together to provide solutions, becoming

welcoming and hospitable communities.

The evening provided the opportunity for

Kenthurst parishioners to take leadership roles

at the table talk.

The key moment was hearing first hand the

story of Ali, an asylum seeker from Iran, who

spoke to our hearts as he shared his story of

having no choice but to leave his country.

Ali* is a member of a cultural minority in Iran

and the Taliban threats to his community grew

closer as the war and personal threats of violence

affected Ali’s safety and the safety of his family.

Our hearts connected as Ali shared the impact

of being separated for five years from family


A reflective mood settled on the room

as we placed ourselves in the position of


being separated from our family and facing

persecution and violence.

This engagement and sharing of Ali's story

led to a discussion of our responses, questions

and possible actions. We had the opportunity to

ask questions of Ali, and Adrian Walker from

the St Vincent de Paul Society spoke from his

experience of working with people seeking


The responses were both personal and

informative. The openness of Ali's story led to

the meaningful sharing of discussion, questions

and responses.

Each of us left the table talk changed because of

engaging in Ali's story and with practical actions

to follow through together. A conversation well

worth having.

*Ali's details have been changed for his

protection and privacy.









OFM Conv has confirmed the

following appointments in the

Diocese of Parramatta:

Rev Fr Suresh Kumar

Assistant Priest

St Anthony of Padua Parish,


Effective 8 August 2016

Rev Fr Matthew Digges

Assistant Priest

Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish,


Effective 8 August 2016

Rev Fr Giovani Presiga Gaviria

Parish Priest

Sacred Heart Parish,


For six years from 18 July



This course offered by the Office for

Worship begins with a Compulsory

Introductory Session on Monday 15

August. Participants continue with the

two-week course of their choice:

* Ministers of the Word

* Extraordinary Ministers of


* Communion to the

Sick and Dying.

Held on Mondays,

commencing at 7pm

Diocesan Assembly Centre,

1-5 Marion St, Blacktown

Applications close on 8 August.

Register with the Office for Worship:





9AM -







CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 3


'Violence in the Name of Religion'

By Rev Walter Fogarty

AS THE Bastille Day terror attack in Nice

was unfolding last month, some 150

Australian and international academics

participated in a conference entitled 'Violence

in the Name of Religion' at the Melbourne

campus of the Australian Catholic University.

Honouring the work of French philosopher

Rene Girard who died in November last

year, the conference considered a perceived

link between violence and religion, focusing

particularly on the popular erroneous notion

that Islam is an inherently violent religion.

Acknowledging most terrorist acts by groups

such as IS are perpetrated by radicalised young,

mainly male, Muslims, the conference explored

the causes of radicalisation.

Islamic and Christian scholars identified

several common elements to radicalisation that

need to be addressed if there is any chance of

preventing young people being radicalised and

becoming potential terrorists. Elements include

internal and external factors.

Among the external factors were the effects

of losing relatives and 'people like me' in

what are frequently viewed as 'unjust wars';

perceptions of biased foreign policy by Western

governments; and the continuing unrest and

dispossession in Palestine/Israel.

Internal factors include poverty, lack of

education, a sense of being disempowered and

disconnected, and radical preachers.

The ultimate cause of radicalisation is a

fundamental distortion and ignorance of

Islam's authentic teachings and tradition.

Most often radicalisation of already

alienated youth occurs at liminal times in

their lives, when they are most vulnerable and

susceptible to manipulation. These transitional

times include periods of unemployment or

finishing study, changes in family and social

relationships, and following migration. The

fervour following conversion also can be a time

of great susceptibility to radicalisation.

Macquarie University's Dr Julian Droogan

spoke about how in a relatively short time

methods of radicalisation and recruitment

have changed. In the 1990s Osama bin Laden

recruited disaffected people by getting them

to travel to join him. Now predatory recruiters

radicalise mostly via social media which enables

them to reach people in their own homes.

Using sophisticated IT to avoid detection,

recruiters directly manipulate potential

followers, developing predatory relationships

by offering them false hope, a sense of belonging

and an outlet for their fervour.

Most often, because of their own ignorance

about Islam's true teachings, those who are

radicalised fall victim to the recruiters' distorted

interpretation of the Qur'an. The desire to

belong, to be listened to, and a fervent desire to

heroically combat injustice (as they see it) make

them more malleable to radicalisation.

IS is winning the social media war through

their savvy use of IT and the high production

value of their e-magazines such as Dabiq. Their

propaganda provides the disillusioned and

vulnerable with a sense of belonging and a

heroic purpose, even if this is false.

By understanding the causes of radicalisation

governments and organisations, even individuals,

can work to counter the efforts of groups

such as IS. Reaching out to those at risk,

providing them with friendship and purpose,

and assisting them to obtain a better education,

particularly with regards to their faith, are all

essential steps in preventing radicalisation.

Prof Greg Barton, of Deakin University,

reminded the conference of the words of Lord

Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of Great

Britain, “The greatest single antidote to violence

is conversation.”

Rev Walter Fogarty is Chairman of the diocesan

Interfaith Commission.

Bishop Kevin Manning

celebrates 25 years

LAST MONTH, Parramatta's Bishop

Emeritus Kevin Manning marked 25

years since his consecration as Bishop of

Armidale in 1991.

On Sunday 17 July, during the 11am Mass in

St Patrick's Cathedral, parishioners, staff and

friends celebrated Bishop Kevin's episcopal

ministry in the dioceses of Armidale and


At a lunch gathering in the Cathedral Hall

Mili Lee, a parishioner and member of the

Cathedral Parish staff, shared a personal


"It is fitting that today’s Gospel was that of

the Good Samaritan because in so many ways

Bishop Kevin has been a figure of care, courage

and kindness," Mili said.

"Shout out hello to him when he is walking

around the Cathedral cloister and he will stop

to ask ‘how’s it going?’ and have a chat."

He is a man of simplicity who is a stickler

for time. "Morning tea in the parish office is

10.30am and Bishop Kevin will be in the tea

room at 10.30am on the dot, sipping his tea,

whether you are there or not," Mili said. "If

you’re picking him up for an appointment, you

know he’ll be there at the agreed time."

Bishop Kevin has worked tirelessly in many

ways to champion causes for the poor and

people at the margins. The Bishop Manning

Scholarship Fund is helping to make Catholic

education available to all families in the

Diocese of Parramatta, removing the barrier of

cost for financially disadvantaged families.

The Bishop was made a Champion of the

West by the San Miguel Family Centre at North

Richmond. A work of the Lasallian agency

Yourtown, the centre provides services for

families who are experiencing homelessness.

The Bishop Manning Lecture was established

in 2010 by the Catholic Commission for

Employment Relations to honour his

commitment and contribution to the

development of Catholic workplaces as places

of justice and human dignity.

Former prime minister Bob Hawke delivered

the inaugural lecture, which is given every two

years. This year's lecture will be on 9 September

at the Kirribilli Club at Lavender Bay. Melinda

Tankard Reist will speak on the topic 'Why sex

is not work: Stories from the sex trade. How

should we respond?'

In 2008, Bishop Kevin published Christian-

Muslim relations: guidelines for Catholics in the

Diocese of Parramatta.

"Bishop Kevin has been a key figure in the area

of interfaith relations, creating and nurturing

Last month, Bishop Kevin Manning celebrated 25

years of episcopal ministry. PHOTO: BALDO POLIZZI.

relationships with our brothers and sisters of

other faiths," Mili said. "He has courageously

led the way in promoting understanding and

respect for people from other traditions.

"Like the Good Samaritan, Bishop Kevin

has crossed many roads to help the person

and people hurting on the other side, roads

of division, suspicion and apprehension. A

hallmark of his leadership and representation

of Catholicism has been a lived experience and

example of mercy."

Bishop Kevin was born in Coolah in 1933. He

is the second eldest in a family of five boys and

two girls, born to Kevin and Edith Manning.

He attended Sacred Heart Primary School

in Coolah before going on to St Columba's

College, Springwood, where he later began his

studies for the priesthood.

He was selected to complete his studies at

Propaganda Fide College in Rome, where he

was ordained on 21 December 1961. Bishop

Manning served most of his priesthood in the

Diocese of Bathurst.

On 10 July 1991, he was appointed Bishop

of Armidale. Bishop Kevin was installed as

the second Bishop of Parramatta in 1997. He

retired in 2010.

Celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy by supporting priests, religious sisters and brothers wherever the Church is poor, persecuted or threatened

A priest visiting the sick in Peru


4 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016





Way of Mercy to commence on 8 August


JOYOUS gathering of parish representatives

from across the Diocese of Parramatta

took place at St Patrick’s Cathedral

precinct on Saturday 2 July to prepare for the

Way of Mercy, a diocesan-wide initiative in the

Jubilee Year of Mercy.

More than 150 representatives participated

in a program of prayer and reflection, sharing

ideas and planning for regional celebrations that

will take place in parishes across the Diocese.

Parishes and schools, religious congregations,

ministries, Church groups, agencies and

movements will host the Cross of Mercy and

Relics of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and

Blessed Teresa of Kolkata as they journey

throughout the Diocese from 8 August to 13

November 2016.

Each parish and school is invited to highlight

a special way that their community is a Face of

Mercy. The Cross and Relics will also journey to

bushland, hospitals and other areas in need of

God’s mercy.

At the conclusion of the morning sessions,

the Cross of Mercy was carried in procession

into St Patrick’s Cathedral where the Bishop of

Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv,

presided at the Commissioning Mass for the

Way of Mercy.

In his homily, Bishop Vincent said: “It fills

me with great joy and hope to commission

you during this Eucharist as ambassadors for

the Jubilee of Mercy. It is a daunting task and

a tall order. Nevertheless, representing and

being the face of a merciful God and a merciful

Church is not something reserved to the elite or

the extraordinary. It is an integral part of our

Christian life and mission.

“Through the lens of mercy, we learn to be

a missionary and inclusive Church – a Church

that reaches out to those who struggle and fall

short of the Christian ideal; a Church that does

not demean or marginalise people on account of

their sexual orientation, their marital status or

their life circumstances.

“It is a Church that dialogues, that accompanies,

that encourages, that engages with

people’s struggles, wounds and failings. We

do so with respect, empathy, compassion and

humility. We are reminded of how the early

Church accommodated and enabled people like

Mass with Bishop Vincent followed by procession

At the conclusion of the morning sessions, the Cross of Mercy was carried in procession into St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Thomas to make their personal journey from

doubt to faith, brokenness to wholeness.

“Today more than ever, we are called to make

this ecclesial inclusiveness, this big tent Church

a real experience for all of our brothers and


The lunch that followed was an opportunity

for representatives to meet their new Bishop

over a shared meal.

Everyone is welcome to the Way of Mercy

launch on Monday 8 August in St Patrick’s

Cathedral. Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

will preside at a Mass at 10am, which will be

followed by a procession with the Cross of

Mercy and Relics.

To find out more about the Way of Mercy,

please contact Richard McMahon, Director

of Pastoral Planning & Implementation:


Watch a video of Bishop Vincent’s invitation

to the Way of Mercy at http://catholicoutlook.


For more information about the Year of Mercy

in the Diocese of Parramatta and to download

an FAQ Sheet on the Way of Mercy, visit




CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 5

FAMILY & LIFE www.parrafamlife.org.au @parrafamlife parrafamlife

Two Men

Talked About


By Meg Griffin, Family & Life Office, Parramatta

MANY OF us may be aware of the official doctrine of the

Catholic Church, stated within her catechism, on the

subject of homosexuality and ‘same-sex marriage’. But

on this matter, many of us also struggle to engage with our nonreligious

friends, and the broader secular society which tends to

‘switch-off ’ when Catholic doctrine is mentioned.

On Thursday 14 July, we were presented with a new resource

embodying a fresh approach! The Family and Life Office,

Parramatta hosted the launch of the new book, Two Men Talk

About Marriage, which presents the collaborative work of authors

Dr Jeremy Bell and Mr John McCaughan.

The night began with a reception at the Novotel Parramatta at

which the Hon Greg Smith SC acknowledged the important work

of the authors in engaging in discussion on this issue.

At the public talk that followed in St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall,

the authors began their presentation with common ground to

all, the universal desire to love and be loved. The development of

their argument then covered the natural purpose of sex and went

on to explore ideas around marriage, childbearing and parenting.

Dr Bell, who once identified as exclusively homosexual, related

his own personal experience in pondering these big questions

regarding nature, marriage and sex.

Now engaged, he recounts, “at the end of 2010 … I rediscovered,

after many, many years, an interest in women”. Having converted

to Catholicism two years later, and having integrated Church

At the book launch were (from left): the Hon Greg Smith SC, Damien

Tudehope MP with the authors Dr Jeremy Bell and John McCaughan.


teaching into the views to which he already held, he states, “it is

very important to me when talking to people about this subject

to stress that, yes I think that a rational case can be made for what

is nonetheless seen as a typically religious position, that marriage

should be between a man and a woman.”

McCaughan shared personal anecdotes that at times moved

the audience to laughter or tears. Drawing from his parents’

experience and example, McCaughan pointed out, “the greatest

school of love is marriage”. On talking about the great importance

of marriage, he explains, “What is it that keeps them (his parents)

together … love only has two words – you and always! You

because you are unique, wonderful and beautiful, and always

because it is forever … marriage for me is the ultimate symbol of

love. Why? Because in love you are not replaceable, in sex you are.

And that made all the difference.”



Ben Smith, Director of

the Family & Life Office,

and his wife, Julianna,

last month had the great

pleasure of welcoming

John-Paul Louis Joseph

Smith into their family,

a baby brother for their

four daughters and (very

grateful) other son.

Ben Smith with his newborn

son, John-Paul.


2nd annual Diocesan Family Sunday.

Theme: Family - The Oasis of Mercy.

Guest presenter: Fr Leo Patalinghug from Grace

before Meals.

Location: Shrine of the Holy Innocents in Kellyville.

With a brief look at where we have come from as a society and

where we are going, the night’s discussion concluded and was

followed by a book signing.

In a world where people are in the habit of responding to slogans

and have instantaneous access to information, it is the authors’

intentions to encourage their readers to take time in pondering

the material in their book, in reading and rereading, becoming

familiar with the points of discussion so that each reader may

make the material their own.

Copies of Two Men Talk About Marriage can be purchased from

the publisher Connor Court, http://www.connorcourt.com

Bulk Billing for GP Services


Monday-Friday 9.00am-6.00pm

Saturday 9.00am-2.00pm





Parking on-site available

Pathology on premises






Natural Family

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6 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


Fr Thomas Loya will lead a retreat at Mt Schoenstatt next month.


Fr Thomas Loya: Theology of the Body the

face of mercy

By Elizabeth McFarlane

SAINT John Paul II was shot in St

Peter’s Square on Wednesday 13 May

1981. The gunshot that struck the

Pope four times, also injured two women


Amidst the crowd of people who

witnessed the shooting was Fr Thomas

Loya, a seminarian studying in Rome at

the time.

“I was there every Wednesday for two

years, listening to Pope John Paul II’s

catechesis, revealing what we now know as

his Theology of the Body,” Fr Thomas said.

Now an internationally recognised

speaker from the US, Theology of the Body

expert and Retreat Master, the frightening

experience is etched in Fr Thomas’ mind

and recounted in his talks and retreats.

“When he was shot, it’s as if time

stood still. The whole world went into a

suspended state. Everybody froze,” he said.

“People started screaming and then the

military came in from every place. They

came in with guns loaded and in their full

uniforms. They sealed off the whole place

and no one could leave.”

The shooter, Mehmet Ali Agca, was

seized at the scene as he struggled to flee

the Square.

The attempted assassination led to a

profound act of mercy four days later

when the Pope made a public statement,

forgiving Agca and asking the world to

pray for his attacker.

“Theology of the Body is all about that

face of mercy. It’s all about the beauty of

God – the beauty of love and the beauty of

mercy,” Fr Thomas explained. “Everything

must be taught through the lens of the

Theology of the Body. Saint John Paul

II knew that if you could get the view

of the human person right, you could

get everything right. He understood the

dignity and worth of a person and the

power of forgiveness.

“If you get the human person wrong,

everything goes wrong. Everything. That is

what is happening in Western civilisation.

We have lost how to see these disciplines

– how to approach marriage, family, men,

women, sexuality, education, government,

global politics and the environment.”

This vision is especially essential when

discerning vocation.

“Vocation is making a sincere and full

gift of self. One of the great gems of the

Theology of the Body is the explanation of

how celibacy and marriage are absolutely

interdependent,” Fr Thomas explained.

“Our biggest mistake is in defining

celibacy in terms of what we can’t have and

marriage in terms of everything we want.

The complete opposite is true. They are

both two sides of the same coin. They are

both ways of being married. It’s just that

one is being married in the mystical way

and one is being married in a sacramental


“The greatest compliment and

affirmation that you can give a married

couple is to look at them and say, ‘He

would have made a great priest’ or ‘She

would have made a great nun’. That would

be the most convincing testimony to

the sacramentality and holiness of their


“The stamp of affirmation for a vowed

celibate would be for someone to say

to them, ‘He would have made a great

husband and father’ or ‘She would have

made a great wife and mother’. That

would be the ultimate affirmation of their


Using his background in art, counselling,

and Eastern Catholic spirituality, Fr

Thomas brings the principles of The

Theology of the Body deep into the

lived experience and will be leading

participants in a retreat over a weekend at

Mt Schoenstatt Retreat Centre in Mulgoa

from Friday 9 September to Sunday 11


“I hope to facilitate a total openness to

God and to the Holy Spirit, to hopefully

communicate to participants this beautiful

vision of life in the Theology of the Body,”

Fr Thomas said.

“Being Catholic is not about religion.

It’s not about rules. It’s not even about

teachings. It’s seeing a way of life that is


“I’m very honoured to be asked to

visit the Diocese of Parramatta. I am

dependent on your prayers. As I will pray

for everyone, I ask for your prayers.”

Bookings for the retreat can be made

with the Family & Life Office, Parramatta

tel (02) 8838 3441 email famlife@parra.



CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 7


Kellyville Parish has focus on sanctity of life

By Elizabeth McFarlane

OUR LADY of the Rosary (OLOR) Parish

in Kellyville is a calming oasis among

the chaos of everyday life.

The Order of Friars Minor Conventual

(Conventual Franciscans) moved to Kellyville in

1968 and they were given care of OLOR when it

was declared a parish on 8 March 1970.

Bringing with them their image of Christ in

creation and the human person, the Franciscan

parish has a particular focus on the sanctity of

life, revealed in the gardens of their Shrine of the

Holy Innocents.

The gardens include near life-sized handcarved

marble Stations of the Cross, the Shrine

of Our Lady of Grace, and a memorial for

children lost to abortion.

From humble rural beginnings, the parish has

expanded and flourished under the guidance

of the Conventual Franciscans and with this

expansion, the establishment of two primary

schools, Our Lady of the Rosary, Kellyville, and

St Angela's, Castle Hill.

Diverse in culture and grounded in unity with

Christ and the Church, ‘communion’ is a term

aptly used by Br Louis Schmid OFM Conv when

describing the parish where he has resided since


“There is a supernatural strength here and

I would say the key word is ‘communion’ –

communion with Christ and the Church as the

mystical body of Christ,” Br Louis said.

“It is strengthened by this love for Our Lady

and the Blessed Sacrament. That love extends

to a strengthening in unity of all the different

cultures, for it is these aspects of the faith that

unite all cultures.”

The once small farmland has grown with

housing development in surrounding suburbia,

prompting the reaffirmation of retreat and

reflection in the rush of life.

“It is becoming very busy. It is losing the rural

element and with that comes the danger of

losing our connection with each other,” Br Louis


“I think we need to safeguard what we have

and not become complacent. We need to reach

out to newcomers.

“We need to encourage our people and explore

what brings them to this communion.”

The mercy of Christ, Br Louis said, is realised

in the welcoming and generous nature of the


“There is a great outreach of mercy because

it comes from a great faith. The Gospel is lived

when I see new people coming into the parish

and being welcomed,” Br Louis explained.

“It’s a very active parish. There is something

Kellyville parish has a focus on the sanctity of life, revealed in the gardens of their Shrine of the Holy Innocents.

Below: Statue of St Francis of Assisi and Interior of the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. PHOTOS: ELIZABETH MCFARLANE.

for everybody, whether you’re old or young, and

there are always attempts to accommodate the

different needs of the parish.

“There is a good fellowship. I think this is also

being nurtured by the Franciscan presence and

the parishioners, in turn, have nurtured us in

their faith and goodness.”

A place of prayer, reflection and healing, the

parish is home to a Holy Door in this Jubilee

Year of Mercy, which can be found on pilgrimage

to the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents.

The shrine is open every day from 6am-6pm

and all are welcome to visit and pray in this

tranquil space and to join the parish in the


“The mercy of Christ is active and it is

strengthened by the sacraments,” Br Louis


“You know that there is something good about

a parish by its Confessional line because then

you know Christ is known.

“Christ is truly known and loved here.”

St Maximilian Kolbe:

a face of Mercy

ABOVE THE ALTAR in the Chapel of the Holy

Innocents the pilgrim encounters a magnificent

icon of a great Catholic hero of the 20th

Century, St Maximilian Kolbe. St Maximilian is

one of the patron saints of the worldwide prolife

movement and a powerful model of mercy.

In his zeal for souls, Maximilian founded an

evangelisation apostolate in 1917 that advocated

total consecration to Our Lady, the Immaculata,

as the surest and quickest way to soften hearts,

increase holiness, and draw many into union

with Jesus Christ.

St Maximilian inspired his Militia of the

Immaculata (MI) movement to use all of the

latest communication technology to advance

the spread of the Good News.

After leading this sacred endeavour in Poland

and Japan for decades, St Maximilian Kolbe was

arrested by the Nazis in 1941 and sent to the

Auschwitz death camp.

There, in an act of supernatural mercy,

he offered his life for another prisoner and

was condemned to death by starvation. St

Maximilian continued to minister in the

starvation bunker and prepared his fellow

prisoners for eternal life.



75th anniversary of the death of St

Maximilian Kolbe. Rosary before Mass

at 11am. At the conclusion of Mass,

Veneration and Blessing with relic.

Shrine of the Holy Innocents,

8 Greyfriar Place, Kellyville



To honour the Solemnity of the

Assumption of Our Blessed Mother


Mass at noon in the Shrine of the Holy

Innocents followed at 1pm by the

Pilgrim Walk to St Patrick’s Cathedral

in Parramatta, finishes 6pm.

Join at any point along the way.

Banners and statues welcome.

Further information tel Br Dominic

0457 692 735 or OLOR Parish Office

(02) 9629 2595)

Shrine of the Holy Innocents,

8 Greyfriar Place, Kellyville

When the care you seek is

unconditional - talk to us.

wnbull@wnbull.com (02) 9519 5344


Parra_Outlook.indd 1

8 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


17/05/2016 4:51 pm


Fr Alejandro answers God’s call: ‘I want all of you’

By Elizabeth McFarlane

DRAWN TO God’s design for his

life, Fr Alejandro Lopez OFM Conv

left his job as a graphic designer to

join the Conventual Franciscans.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Fr Alejandro split

his early years between St Louis, Missouri,

and Sarasota, Florida.

He studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at

Washington University in St Louis, and it

was there that he met an Ursuline Sister

and two Conventual Franciscan students,

who each influenced him in his faith.

“They helped me to grow in my faith.

They helped me to discover a God of love

and mercy that I had wanted to serve since

childhood when my father taught me

about the lives of saints,” he said.

“I was in my early 20s when I met the

American Sister. She had studied in France

and she knew a lot about Karl Rahner,

a Jesuit Theologian. His view is that the

world is good and grace filled - that God

loves us in spite of our sinfulness and that

our sins can never null that love that is

always present.

“I had never heard that before and this

Ursuline Sister was a witness to it by her

own way of living. She was a woman who,

when I met her, was probably in her 40s

or 50s and had already striking white hair.

“She was very grandmotherly in nature

and the perfect image of this love of God.

She was Irish and German descent with

a great wit and sharp mind. She really

inspired me.

“Before meeting her, I don’t think I really

embraced the faith as my own. After that,

there was a conversion experience.”

Ordained to the priesthood on 24 May

2003, Fr Alejandro’s discernment of

vocation was not without its trials. Having

worked for 10 years as a graphic designer,

he agonised over whether or not to join the


“I was in my graphic design world but

I wasn’t happy. I felt like something was

missing in my life,” Fr Alejandro explained.

"I feel I was

Franciscan even

before I was


Fr Alejandro was and is a talented artist.

"But it felt like it wasn’t what I was supposed

to be doing. I felt myself becoming more

introverted and that I was cutting myself

off from the world.

“I was basically walling myself up and

I didn’t like the kind of person I was

becoming. I had become self-centred and

it wasn’t healthy.”

Keeping in touch with the Ursuline

Sister, she advised him to pray.

“She told me to light a candle and to just

ask the Lord what it is that He wants of me.

She told me to be persistent and to keep

asking. Eventually, the answer came. He

wanted all of me,” Fr Alejandro said.

“I tried to offer part of me but it wasn’t

fulfilling and it didn’t work. I kept praying

and it came to me, ‘I want all of you.’

“I was Franciscan before I joined. I can’t

say I knew Francis very well growing up

but I did like nature. It grew organically. It

was a realisation that came naturally.”

On his days off, Fr Alejandro goes hiking

and enjoys exploring the beauty of nature.

“I see the goodness of creation. I am

attracted to the humanity of Christ and it

draws me in, more so than any other image

of Christ. And so I feel I was Franciscan

even before I was Franciscan,” he said.

Fr Alejandro is the Parish Priest of Our

Lady of the Rosary Parish in Kellyville and

believes the Franciscans bring the goods of

the earth to the parish.

“The Franciscans are lovers of nature.

St Francis saw the imprint of God in

everything. He was the one who started the

Stations of the Cross because he wanted

people to be present in the last moments

of Christ in the Passion,” Fr Alejandro


“He wanted people to witness and grow

in appreciation of the humanity of Christ

and we can witness that in the Stations of

the Cross at our Shrine in Kellyville.

“There is a great mix of people in this

parish and there is a great sense that we are

all in this together. Everything is so rushed

in today’s world, but here in Kellyville

there is an opportunity to slow down to

make time to pray to the Lord and ask what

He wants of you.”

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CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 9



By Jenny Merryweather

MORE than 300 young pilgrims from the Diocese of

Parramatta journeyed to World Youth Day (WYD) 2016

in Krakow last month via the Philippines and Poland.

During WYD week, 3000 Australian pilgrims and two million

youth from around the world joined Pope Francis for a festival of

faith from 25-31 July.

WYD is a part of a tradition initiated by St John Paul II for

the Church to be with the youth, for the youth. He described the

objective as: “… to make the person of Jesus the centre of the faith

and life of every young person so that He may be their constant

point of reference and also the inspiration of every initiative and

commitment for the education of the new generations.”

Arriving on Bohol Island

OUR FIRST diocesan pilgrimage, led by Very Rev Chris de

Souza VG, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation,

arrived on Bohol Island in the Diocese of Tagbilaran in

the Philippines on the weekend of 16-17 July.

During Mass in St Joseph the Worker Cathedral in Tagbilaran

City the Bishop of Tagbilaran, Most Rev Leonardo Y Medroso,

welcomed pilgrims and spoke about the experience of mercy.

"Our faith pushes us to do things, to come out of ourselves and

reach other people."

The Bishop spoke about the hardship the Bohol community

had experienced after a devastating earthquake in 2013 and how

our pilgrims would learn and experience mercy through their

work on rebuilding projects.

Our young people were warmly welcomed by the school

communities at St Vincent Institute High and Santa Cruz

Elementary, where they taught Maths and English and shared

their culture with the students and helped with painting at St

Vincent Institute High.

Pilgrims go back to school

AT ST NINO’S Primary in Loon, the children were thrilled

to be learning games like the hokey pokey.

Many of the pilgrims reflected on the differences

between our lifestyles – that we have so much and these

communities have so little.

At the Infant King Academy Secondary School, Cortes, pilgrims

were shocked to find the school day began at 8am and finished at


In Baclayan Central Elementary School, pilgrims undertook

maintenance work and painting. The heat and humidity proved

a challenge.

Pilgrims also helped with feeding programs for malnourished


At both Panglao Central Elementary and Bolod Elementary,

volunteer parents visit every day and cook food for the 30 to 40

children at each school. Pilgrims assisted by cooking and serving


We had much to reflect on and during evening Mass Fr Chris

spoke about reading the sign of God and opening our hearts

through being merciful.

"Mercy is not about those who deserve mercy. It is to see the

good in the other even when the other is not able to see it in

themselves," he said.

Panglao Mayor Leonila Monter hosted a dinner and festival

that celebrated the friendship that has developed between the

two dioceses.

Bishop Leonardo Y Medroso said the pilgrims had followed the

call to be merciful. "You have made known God’s mercy on you

and extended that gift of mercy to others."

At the end of the week, pilgrims reflected on the relationships

they had formed with the students. We have learnt much about

mercy, compassion and generosity from these students and


In Loon, the St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Learning

Centre was officially opened and blessed by Bishop Leonardo Y

Medroso. The centre was built with funds raised by the Diocese

of Parramatta and Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta in

collaboration with businesses.

The pilgrimage ended with Mass at St Augustine’s Church

and a Cultural Encounter and Fellowship Dinner hosted by the

Diocese of Tagbilaran. Although sad to be leaving Bohol, pilgrims

celebrated the week that had been as they looked forward to


Parramatta’s pilgrims enc

in the Philippin

Photography by Adrian Middeldorp

10 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


ounter the Face of Mercy

es and Poland

and Steven Buhagiar



By Steven Buhagiar

THE excitement generated by WYD is on show for all to see

as our pilgrims arrived at Warsaw airport. Spontaneously

breaking into their favourite WYD song, they soon

drowned out the Italian cohort who had just walked past trying

to set a new standard.

Our first visit was to the National Temple of Divine Providence,

where we were amazed the beautiful structure of this immense


Fr Peter Strohmayer OSPPE and Fr Andrew Fornal OP

concelebrated the Mass in the basement level of this modern

day pantheo, supported by the talented Sr Rosie Drum MGL and

Alison Ryan.

The day concluded with a bus tour around what is known as the

‘old’ part of Warsaw.

Jasna Gora &

the Black Madonna

THE NEXT DAY we headed to the south, stopping in the

Church of the Assumption in Gidel. This beautiful church

with a Door of Mercy, was also celebrating 500 years in

the pastoral care of the Dominican order. Despite the church’s

physical beauty, the real surprise came in the form of a 9cm tall

statue of Our Lady.

Pilgrims listened attentively to the stories of miracles attributed

to Our Lady of Gidel’s intercession with each pilgrim leaving the

church with a gift of a vial of wine in which the statue had been


Swieta Anna is a community of enclosed Dominican sisters

entrusted with the care of the shrine of St Anna. Pilgrims stopped

here for Mass and then spent some time listening to the history of

the sisters as well as learning of the powerful intercessory prayer

of St Anna for the pilgrims, especially grandparents, who come

from all over Poland to ask for her assistance.

Reaching Jasna Gora, the Mountain of Light, was the culmination

of a day with a true Marian emphasis. St John Paul II called Jasna

Gora the ‘soul’ of Poland and the pilgrims quickly understood

why as they came face to face with the icon traditionally attributed

to the hand of St Luke.

That night, the pilgrims joined in the beautiful night prayer of

the Hermits of St Paul as they said goodnight to their Queen and

Mother and entrusted their homeland to her heavenly patronage.

Krakow via Wadowice

RETURNING TO Jasna Gora, our pilgrims joined fellow

pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Melbourne for Mass

celebrated by Bishop Terence Curtin.

Leaving Czestochowa, we set off for Wadowice, the town in

which St John Paul II was born, where the Wojtyla family was

situated, and where the future pope received the sacraments of


Upon entering the town square, pilgrims were met with a most

picturesque setting comprised of the Basilica of the Assumption,

the John Paul II Family Home Museum and an array of period

shops and restaurants.

The interior of the Basilica housed the baptismal font in which

the pope entered the church along with a magnificent and

favourite image of the pontiff, the miraculous painting of Our

Lady of Perpetual Help.

Pilgrims also noted the sundial on the exterior of the basilica

which marks the time at which the saintly pope died.

We sampled the pope’s favourite cream cake dessert, the worldfamous


A tour of the museum provided a wonderful and moving

memorial to the pope and saint who did so much to influence the

course of his nation’s and ultimately, world history.

The next day we entered Krakow where we met up with fellow

pilgrims from the Philippines at our WYD accommodation at

AGH University.


CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 11


World Youth Day a catalyst for ren


Gathering in


Photography by Adrian Middeldorp and Mazur/episkopat.pl | For

WORLD YOUTH DAY 2008 in Sydney

changed the landscape of youth

ministry nationally, the Australian

bishops said during a national gathering of

Australian pilgrims on 26 July at WYD Krakow.

The bishops joined more than 3000 young

people at an Australian gathering that included

a launch of the Year of Youth, building on the

legacy of WYD08.

The Year of Youth will celebrate the 10th

anniversary of WYD08 and highlight how the

Australian Church continues to tell the story of

the event in its local ministry.

Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, an Auxiliary

Bishop of Melbourne and the Bishops Delegate

for Youth, was an MC at the Krakow gathering.

“The years of preparation leading up to WYD08

and its events have changed the landscape of

youth ministry, leaving a lasting impression on

the Church. Local youth ministries have grown

and diversified. The number of youth ministers

has increased along with diocesan support


Speaking during a press conference after

the gathering, Malcolm Hart, Director of the

Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth,

said the Year of Youth will utilise the anniversary

of WYD08 to highlight the impact a concerted

effort and focus on young people can have in the

life of the Church.

“The bishops have established a three-year

cycle of events to support and sustain youth

ministry into the future,” Malcolm said. “This

includes: support and participation in World

Youth Days, the engagement of a new generation

of young Catholics through the Australian

Catholic Youth Festival and increased training

and formation of those working with young

people through the Australian Catholic Youth

Ministry Convention.”

Following WYD08, the bishops established

the Australian Catholic Youth Council as a

strategic advisory body and created an Office

for Youth to implement the bishops’ vision for

youth ministry, Anointed and Sent.

Commencing the Year of Youth in Sydney, the

Australian Catholic Youth Festival in December

2017 will be the largest national gathering of the

Catholic Church in Australia with an expected

attendance of 15,000.

Bishop Edwards said the challenge for a WYD

host city was how to make the event fruitful

10 years on. “Australia could well be one of the

countries that has leveraged WYD in their own

country to the greatest potential,” he said.

“The anniversary of WYD08 provides an

opportunity to refocus our commitment to a

three-year cycle of events, setting a new standard

for continuously renewing the Church’s mission

of evangelisation in young people.”

Half of all Australia’s bishops attended the

gathering with special guest His Excellency

Paul Wojciechowski, Australia’s Ambassador to

Poland. Hosted at the Mercy Centre in Tauron

Arena, Krakow, the theme of the two-hour

gathering was Blessed are the Merciful, with

music, catechesis and testimonials reflecting

this theme.

Highlights included an inspiring call to action

from Bishop Peter Comensoli (Broken Bay), an

insight into Polish and Australian spirituality by

Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green (Wilcannia-

Forbes), a homily given by Bishop Patrick

O’Regan (Sale) and music by Victorian priest Fr

Rob Galea.

The prayer of the faithful was in five languages,

representing the multicultural nature of the

Church in Australia.

Bishop Edwards concluded that, “during the

Year of Youth, it is crucial the Church engages

with young people”.

12 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


ewal in youth ministry in Australia

our pilgrims' stories, photo galleries and videos visit parrawyd.org

WYD Week

with Pope




of young pilgrims converged on

Krakow for a week of celebrations that

culminated with the WYD Vigil and Final Mass

with Pope Francis on Sunday 31 July. This was

the conclusion of our diocesan pilgrimage

through the Philippines and Poland.

More than two million people gathered for

the Final Mass at Campus Misericordiae. In his

homily, the Holy Father challenged the young

people to not be afraid of Christ and to take a

“risk” for others.

Reflecting on the Gospel of Luke and the

encounter of Jesus with Zacchaeus, a tax

collector, he used technology as a key theme of

his homily.

“In his eyes the clothes you wear or the kind of

cell phone you use are of absolutely no concern,”

he said.

“Download the best ‘link’ of all, that of a heart

which sees and transmits goodness without

growing weary.

“How much he hopes that, in all the ‘contacts’

and ‘chats’ of each day, pride of place be given to

the golden thread of prayer!

“Trust the memory of God: his memory is

not a ‘hard disk’ that ‘saves’ and ‘archives’ all our

data, but a heart filled with tender compassion,

one that finds joy in ‘erasing’ in us every trace

of evil.”

More than one million young people had slept

at Campus Misericordiae after a prayer vigil

with the Pope the night before.

The vigil is often the most personal part of

the central events with the Holy Father. It is a

unique time of prayer and meeting with Christ

and it has an atmosphere of peace and great joy.

During this Eucharistic celebration, the Pope

sends the young people out to the world to be

witnesses in their own homes.

After a morning of catechesis, pilgrims had

their first encounter with the Holy Father

during the Papal Welcome on 28 July. It was a

time of particular joy as the pilgrims had the

opportunity to pray together with Pope Francis.

The following day, pilgrims had their final

catechesis session with the international bishops.

In the afternoon and evening, they gathered for

the Way of the Cross, which invites pilgrims into

the penitential character of WYD.

The WYD Cross was carried in a procession

and young people followed a designated route

through the city, giving testimony of their faith.

Chris Lee from St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish

in Parramatta delivered a powerful testimony

of mercy at the Aussie Gathering (see Page 12).

Chris was one of two pilgrims chosen to share

their story.

In the lead-up to WYD, our pilgrims

joined the thousands who had flocked to the

Sanktuarium Bożego Miłosierdzia – the Divine

Mercy Sanctuary. Pilgrims were able to spend

time in prayer and reflection.

The site was the home of St Faustyna

(Kowalska). The Polish devotion was

popularised by St John Paul II, who had a strong

devotion to the Divine Mercy. The convent

within the sanctuary is where St Faustyna lived,

worked and had her apparition of Jesus.

At the close of WYD16, the Holy Father

announced that Panama would be the location

of the next WYD in 2019.


CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 13

CATHOLIC EDUCATION www.parra.catholic.edu.au @CatholicEdParra CatholicEdParra

Skilling up for the future

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is not typically one of the

first things that comes to

people’s minds. In fact, it

has been suggested that

VET is no longer relevant

in a knowledge age given it

was introduced to meet the

growing demand of tradebased

jobs 30 years ago.

At the end of end of the month, National Skills Week

(29 August to 4 September) will recognise and celebrate

the student benefits and career pathways associated

with vocational education and serves as a timely

reminder that vocational study is not only relevant in the

21st Century, but that it offers a balance between theory

and practice that traditional models of learning and

teaching could learn something from.

The power of the VET model is the connections it builds

between industry and school and the hands-on learning

it delivers. Unlike other states and territories, NSW

allows dual accreditation, which means that VET subjects

can count towards HSC and ATAR scores.

VET also enables students to have a two-year

engagement with an industry or commercial partner and

this structured work-placement model allows students

to apply their learning and skills to real world contexts,

not just in the classroom.

Many VET students will tell you that one of the best

aspects of their study is the experience of working

alongside and learning from experts. The combination

of on-the-job experience while studying is a powerful

learning model that we should look to in our

contemporary approach to improving student learning

and teacher training.

Just recently, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

achieved our highest recognition in the Western

Sydney Region NSW Training awards (see right). This

acknowledges the work of both students and teachers

in ensuring the high standard of vocational learning

and teaching across Catholic secondary schools in the

Diocese. Congratulations to the students recognised and

their teachers, industry partners, mentors and the team

at the office who support them.

Record achievement in training awards

CATHOLIC EDUCATION Diocese of Parramatta

received their best-ever results in the 2016 Western

Sydney Region NSW Training Awards presented on

17 June.

Erin Gray from St Andrews Catholic College, Marayong,

was named the Western Sydney Region VET in Schools

Student of the Year and Curtis Miller from Catholic

Education’s ICT Trainee program won the Trainee of the

Year award.

Erin said she was honoured to receive the award and had

gained enormously from her VET study.

“Previously, I was a shy student but this course has pushed

me out of my comfort zone and my off-the-job training in

class has improved,” Erin said. “There is no area in which

I have not improved as a result of this training and my

value for my learning has never been stronger.”

Catholic Education’s Registered Training Organisation

Manager Karen Ruppert said the results were outstanding.

“Eight finalists from our RTO is our best-ever result for

the awards,” Karen said. “The opportunities for all our

students have expanded and pathways are no longer

defined by an ATAR. The awards shine the light on these

opportunities for all students.”

Erin and Curtis will represent the Western Sydney region

at next month’s state competition.

Congratulations to all the Catholic Education Diocese

of Parramatta finalists:

VET in Schools Student of the Year

• Olivia Cochrane - Hospitality - St John Paul II Catholic

College, Schofields;

Erin Gray winner VET Schools student of the year and St Andrews

College Principal, Nic Vidot.

• Ben McCarthy - Finance - McCarthy Catholic Trade

Training Centre, Emu Plains;

School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

• Laura McKinnon - Catholic Early Learning Centre

Trainee - Loyola Catholic Trade Training Centre, Mount


• Luke Fornaiser - Electrotechnology - McCarthy Catholic

Trade Training Centre, Emu Plains;

• William Attard - Carpentry - McCarthy Catholic Trade

Training Centre, Emu Plains;

VET Teacher of the Year

• Andrew Hickey - Post School Options.

CEDP partners with Marists on a new

learning zone

CATHOLIC EDUCATION Diocese of Parramatta and

the Marist Brothers are partnering to open a new pathway

for young people who have disengaged from their


In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to meet with

our new Bishop, Vincent Long OFM Conv, and brief him

on the work of Catholic Education in the Diocese. I am

very encouraged by his support of our direction and

eagerness to work in collaboration with our leaders and

staff. He has a keen interest in education and formation

and we are blessed to have his pastoral leadership.

More than 300 pilgrims have just completed our

diocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2016, which

was an opportunity to share and celebrate their Catholic

faith with other young people from all over the world in

Krakow where WYD began.

Greg Whitby

Executive Director of Schools


blog: bluyonder.wordpress.com

The Marist Learning Zone (MLZ) is not a school but aims

to connect young people back into learning, and to build

their skills in communication, collaboration and general

life skills.

MLZ hopes to prepare young people for a return to

school and new learning pathways such as TAFE and


Br Michael Callinan FMS said MLZ was open to all young

people of secondary school age, as well as young adults,

and would offer a different type of learning.

“MLZ doesn’t follow a typical curriculum; it works with

the young people using their creativity, problem-solving

and interests to engage them in learning opportunities,”

Br Michael said.

“Activities will be based on the needs of the young people

and will focus on a mix of learner-led, group work and

From left: Br Michael Callinan FMS, Br Justin Golding FMS,

Executive Director of Schools Greg Whitby and Br Lawrie McCane


mentoring experiences including music, cooking, creative

arts, nutrition and fitness, technology, as well as more

academic learning such as literacy and numeracy.”

Marist Learning Zone will open in 2017 at the Aengus

Kavanagh Centre, Mount Druitt.

For more information or to become a mentor, partner,

sponsor or donor to support the Marist Learning Zone

contact 0474 439 450.

Find out more via https://youtu.be/xHVM_XzKICU

14 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


www.parra.catholic.edu.au @CatholicEdParra CatholicEdParra

52 schools Showcase ‘Best Of’ performance


St Agnes student wins Local

Aboriginal Student of the Year

Hundreds of students showcased their creative talents in the CAPTIVATE Showcase throughout June.

HUNDREDS OF primary and secondary students from

52 Catholic schools across the Diocese showcased their

creative talents in the CAPTIVATE Showcase last month,

culminating in the ‘Best Of ’ performance on 27 June at the

Joan Sutherland Centre in Penrith.

CAPTIVATE Team Leader Mark Hopkins said the

showcase was a huge success, which not only provides

learning and performance experiences for students, but

builds expertise and a sense of community across the


“All the schools can be proud of the continued

improvement of the standard across all genres,” Mark said.

“The standard has never been so high or so deep.”

CAPTIVATE is the creative and performing arts initiative

of Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta. The annual

showcase includes a series of music, dance and strings

performances over eight nights.

Students musical performances included song, choir, instrumental

and band.

Manoa Ratubalavu is congratulated by Cr Charlie Lowles OAM.

YEAR 10 student, Manoa Ratubalavu from St Agnes

Catholic High School, Rooty Hill, was presented with

the Local Aboriginal Student of the Year award on 1 July

2016. This new annual award recognises young people

who demonstrate leadership within their school and local


Blacktown City Councillor Charlie Lowles OAM made

the presentation at a whole school assembly on behalf of

Edmond Atalla, Member for Mt Druitt. The top students

from the award nominations across NSW will attend this

month’s Emerging Leaders Forum.

Jarara secondary teacher Michelle Kennedy, who

nominated Manoa for the award, said it was an important

opportunity to recognise young Indigenous leaders in the


“The award is a great way for young people like Manoa

to be recognised for their positive contributions to their

school community and to inspire other young people,”

Michelle said.

Catholic Education Principals

and staff welcome Bishop

Vincent Long OFM Conv

Catholic Education staff were delighted to meet Bishop Vincent.

MORE THAN 100 Principals and Catholic Education staff

welcomed Bishop Vincent Long to the Diocese during an

afternoon tea at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall, Parramatta.

Bishop Vincent said he was looking forward to working

with Catholic Education staff, who he described as being at

the forefront of the Church’s mission in Parramatta.

Primary and secondary schools choreographed and performed dance.

“I am very comforted that I have a good team of committed

people and collaborators around me,” Bishop Vincent said.

“One of the signs of hope is the way Catholic Education

has been a source of strength and community for so many

Catholic people and non-Catholic people.”


CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 15

CATHOLIC EDUCATION www.parra.catholic.edu.au @CatholicEdParra CatholicEdParra

World Youth Day 2016: Pilgrim Q&A

By Lauren Bennett, teacher, St Canice’s Catholic Primary, Katoomba

St John Paul II staff show the face of mercy

Why did you want to be a part of


One of the main things that drew me

towards participating in WYD was being

able to help communities in the Philippines.

It is also special to be attending WYD in

Poland where the very first World Youth

Day was held.

What experiences do you hope to bring

back to your school?

I don’t know what to expect, but I am

excited about my own personal faith

journey on this pilgrimage. I hope that I

can bring something inspirational back,

not only for the students, but for the parent

community as well. It is about sharing the

good news with others.

How has your Catholic faith shaped you?

I have been educated within Catholic

schools my whole life having attended

St Canice’s Primary, Katoomba, and St

Lauren Bennett attended WYD16 with close to

300 other young people from the Diocese.

Columba’s Catholic College, Springwood,

and the sense of belonging to our faith

community is wonderful. I am looking

forward to celebrating that with others

on the pilgrimage and to live out my faith

through service and celebration.

Painting and restoring cubby houses at the North Richmond Community Centre.

On 14 June, the staff of St John Paul II Catholic

College, Schofields/Nirimba, gathered at the

Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in Grose Vale for

their annual Staff Evangelisation Retreat Day.

With a focus on ‘The Face of Mercy through

Service’, staff were challenged to question how

they use their power and influence to promote

Gospel values and to consider the small acts

they can perform that can have a larger impact

beyond what they can see.

As part of the retreat, staff members were

involved in volunteer work within the local

community. Activities included making

hampers for the St Vincent de Paul Society;

building a cubby house and painting at

Richmond Community Centre; building a

retaining wall at the Benedict XVI Retreat

Centre; laying pavers for the Women’s Cottage,

as well as many other jobs at local churches.

Co-operating Principal Jim Fanning said it was

a meaningful formation experience for staff.

“We left with a true experience of what it means

to be guided by mercy and compassion for

those in need,” Jim said.

Education Snapshot: News and Events from Catholic Schools in the Diocese

Above: Augustinian Recollect (AR Sisters)

met with Executive Director of Schools

Greg Whitby and Deputy Executive

Director Sue Walsh on 1 July. Mother

Maxima, Superior General of the Order;

Sr Lolit; Sr Jeana, Mother Superior of

the Order in Australia; and Catholic

Education’s Sr Lirio.

Right: The school community of Marian

Catholic College, Kenthurst, made 1035

dresses and shorts to be sent to the

Little Angels Orphanage and parishes

in the Diocese of Tagbilaran, Bohol,

Philippines with our diocesan

World Youth Day pilgrims.

Above: Students from St Margaret Mary’s Primary,

Merrylands, raised $2702.65 through their Mini

Vinnies Sleepout Appeal.

St Pauls Catholic College, Greystanes, Foundation

Day Mass with Bishop Vincent was celebrated on 1

July at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Above: On 28 June, 56 teachers

graduated as Extending

Mathematical Understanding

(EMU) specialist teachers and

29 graduated as EMU middle

years specialist teachers.

Left: To celebrate Roald Dahl’s

upcoming 100th birthday on

13 September, St Columba’s

Catholic College, Springwood,

recently held a special event

inviting students to participate

in a character parade, cake

competition, library exhibition

and Willy Wonka lolly store to

raise funds for the St Vincent

de Paul Society's Winter Appeal.

Today's learners: tomorrow's leaders



Sibling discounts available. School based fees may apply. The Byallawa co-contribution scheme for

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and the Bishop Manning Scholarship Fund have

been established for families in need of financial assistance.

No child will be refused enrolment because of a family’s inability to afford school fees.

@catholicedparra catholicedparra


16 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016











HUNDREDS OF people gathered in the

grounds of Holy Family Parish at Emerton on

4 July for one of the largest NAIDOC Week

events ever managed by Aboriginal Catholic

Services in the Diocese of Parramatta.

The family fun day, run by Catholic-

Care Social Services, attracted Aboriginal and

non-Aboriginal people, with children’s rides,

face painting and musicians.

Many community organisations in Western

Sydney set up stalls at the event. These

included Blacktown Area Community Centre,

Dunheved and St Marys Fire Services, Mt

Druitt Local Area Command, Muru Mittigar,

Ability Links, the Department of Fair Trading,

Afford, Kildare Road Medical Practice,

the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jesuit Social

Services and the Indigenous Women’s

Legal Program.

Lisa Foster from Aboriginal Catholic Services

said NAIDOC Week was a great way to

bring the local community together.

“This event, like others organised during

NAIDOC Week, helps to foster a greater understanding

and appreciation of Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander cultures,” Lisa said.

“It allows us to recognise the contributions

that Indigenous Australians make to our

country and our society.

“We are very grateful for the support of

Holy Family Parish, in particular Aaron

Rossler and his Just Community team, who

Welcoming all Abilities and Cultures





Entry by gold coin donation



For more information please email simone.taylor@ccss.org.au or call 9670 5321

This year’s NAIDOC Week family fun day was a great success.

cooked more than 800 lunches.”

Aboriginal Catholic Services is located at

Special visitors included Prue Car MP – 252-254 Luxford Road (enter via Emert Parade).

The centre offers a range of free services

Member for Londonderry, Joe Cashman –

Acting Executive Director CCSS, and Very including counselling for children and adults,

Rev Peter Williams VG, Episcopal Vicar for financial and problem gambling counselling,

Social Welfare.

free tea, coffee and computer access. There are

On 10 July, Holy Family Parish hosted a

groups for arts, sewing, cooking, playgroup

Meet and Greet for the Aboriginal Community.

This provided an opportunity for the Ab-

and tutoring.

original community to meet and have a conversation

with the new Bishop of Parramatta, teraction Program for Parents with children

The centre also runs the HIPPY Home In-

Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, about aged 4-5. For more information tel (02) 9628

what they would like to see happening within 0084, drop in to see us, or join us on Facebook

the Diocese.

at facebook/ACSEmerton




Sunday 18 September at 11am

All married couples and their

families are welcome with

special acknowledgement to

couples who have significant

wedding anniversaries of

25+ years.

Lunch will be provided afterwards

in the Cathedral Hall

RSVP 8 September through

your parish office or

CatholicCare tel (02) 8822

2222, marriage@ccss.org.au

Responsible Gambling Support Group ̶ is free and on

every Saturday, 9.30am-11am, CCSS Centre, 38 Prince St,

Blacktown. Tel (02) 8822 2222.

All Saints of Africa Playgroup/Mums’ Group – Thursdays

during term time, 10am-noon, All Saints of Africa Centre, 63

Allawah St, Blacktown. For mums with children who have

not started primary school. Activities for children include

craft, story time and singing plus social interaction, support

and friendship for Mums. Tel (02) 8822 2250.

Younger Widowed Support Group – Third Tuesday of

each month, 7pm-9pm, Institute for Mission, 1-5 Marion

St, Blacktown. Fee $5 per meeting. Tel (02) 8822 2222,


Stepping Beyond – Support for those separated or divorced

on the last Tuesday of the month, 7.30pm-9.30pm, CCSS

Centre, 38 Prince St, Blacktown. Fee: $5 per meeting. Tel

(02) 8822 2222, soloparentservices@ccss.org.au

Aboriginal Catholic Services – Groups include Problem

Gambling Support Group, Tutoring Time – free

Literacy Tutoring for Kindergarten – Yr 6, Playgroup,

RECOVER Wellbeing Groups including Sew4Wellbeing,

Create4Wellbeing, Dance4Wellbeing, HabitBreaking4

Wellbeing. All groups at 254 Luxford Rd, Emerton (in Holy

Family Parish). For further information tel (02) 9628 0084.

Natural Fertility Services – Provides Natural Family

Planning instruction. Choose the method that suits you.

Billings Ovulation Method®, The Sympto Thermal Method

or CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare System. Further

information tel (02) 8822 2222, nfs@ccss.org.au

Keeping Kids in Mind program supports parents and families

after separation. Five sessions weekly at Blacktown CCSS

Centre, 38 Prince St, Blacktown (from Monday 8 August,

6pm-8.30pm). Fee $100 (includes handbook). Bookings

essential, tel 1800 554 646.

Cool Kids/Cool Little Kids – support for families when

children are experiencing high levels of anxiety. For

preschoolers, eight sessions weekly on Tuesdays, 7pm-9pm

from 6 September, Springwood Preschool, 9 Macquarie

Rd, Springwood. Further information, tel (02) 4751 4956,


Circle of Security – enhance attachment security between

parents and children. Thursdays from 20 October – 8

December, 10am-12.30pm. CCSS Centre, 38 Prince St,

Blacktown. Gold coin donation. Bookings essential, tel (02)

8822 2222.

Recover Wellbeing – recovery oriented program and

support groups for people living with mental distress.

Monthly get togethers 4 Wellbeing include: Art and Writing

Group 4 Wellbeing, Visual Arts & Crafts Group 4 Wellbeing,

Bead4Wellbeing, Drum4Wellbeing, Dance4Wellbeing,

Create4Wellbeing, Walk4Wellbeing, Breaking

Habits4Wellbeing. For further information, tel (02) 8822

2222, soraya.kassim@ccss.org.au

Offices at Blacktown, Emerton, Parramatta, Penrith, Springwood, call (02) 8822 2222


CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 17


‘Pray for courage. Be courageous’

By Elizabeth McFarlane

LOOKING AS if it was about to collapse,

the small chapel in East Timor leaned to

one side. There were a few plastic seats

with a laminated image of Jesus Christ on the

wall and a little wooden cross handmade out of

sticks. The image read: ‘I will be with you until

the end of time.’

It was this seemingly simple setting where

Adam Carlow felt the call to the priesthood: “I

remember walking out of that chapel in Timor

and hearing the call from God to priestly life.”

Adam is a seminarian for the Diocese,

completing his third year at Holy Spirit Seminary

after the eye-opening mission trip to East Timor

taught him that “the Spirit is enough”.

“The people in East Timor were living off the

land in palm huts with no electricity and no

running water,” Adam explained.

“To many, they would be perceived as poor,

but for me, they were some of the richest people

I have ever met. They were rich in Spirit. They

had a Spirit I had never seen before that was

really on fire.”

It was this experience that Adam drew upon

for reflection on his vocation to the priesthood.

However, had it not been for World Youth Day

2008 in Sydney, Adam may have never set foot

in East Timor.

“I had been slowly coming back to the faith

after WYD and wanted to live my life as a

Catholic, which for me meant going out into the

world and doing charity work,” he said.

Adam grew up attending Sunday Mass with

his mother, but drifted from the Church in his

high school years.

“I fell away from the faith when a lot of my

peers stopped going to Mass and stopped

practising,” he said. “When you’re that age, you

don’t want to be an outsider. You want to be part

of the in-group.

“There wasn’t much of a Catholic culture

among my peers but my Religion teacher at

school started talking about their experience at

WYD, and on a bit of a whim, I decided to go.”

Adam went to his local parish, St Benedict’s

Parish in Smithfield, and it was with their

Antioch youth group that he went to WYD in


“It was there that I rediscovered the faith. It

had been two or three years since I had been to

Confession so I made the decision to go. It was a

very moving experience,” he said.

“I celebrated my 18th birthday on 20 July with

Pope Benedict XVI at Randwick Racecourse.

Celebrating my faith and birthday with 200,000

young people from around the world was

incredibly powerful.

“When WYD finished, I started attending

Sunday Mass again and continued to be involved

Third-year seminarian Adam Carlow.


in the Smithfield Antioch group.”

The Parish Priest and Assistant Priest of

Smithfield at the time, Fr Albert Wasniowski

and Fr Damien Mosakowski, became father


“Fr Albert was the first person to ask me if

I had been thinking about the priesthood, and

if I felt called and would like to be a priest,” he


“At first I thought the idea was a little bit crazy.

I thought I was going to follow the normal path

in life. I thought I would get a good paying job,

get married and have children.

“The idea of the priesthood, I thought, was

good for other people but not for me.”

But there was something attracting Adam to

the priesthood and what started out as a crazy

idea, turned into a noble pursuit.

“It certainly wasn’t overnight. It was a long

process of about five years where God worked

with me,” he said. “He walked with me and, over

that time, the idea didn’t seem as crazy.

“I became closer in faith, closer to God and

that original feeling of being attracted to my

faith and to the priesthood was growing larger

and becoming louder, to the point where I

couldn’t ignore it anymore.”

When asked what advice he would give to

those discerning their vocation, Adam said to

trust in God. “One of the hardest things to do

is to trust God when you’re faced with big life

decisions,” he said.

“With big life decisions, there is always a lot of

uncertainty, but it’s important to have that trust

in God to make the next step.

“Pray for courage. Be courageous.”

Fr Andrew Bass said he was blessed to have the support of family and friends (from left): his mum Irene Bass,

Doris Portelli, Fr Andrew, John Portelli, his father Michael Bass and Spiro Portelli. PHOTO: RICHARD ZAITER.

Fr Andrew Bass: sustained i

FR ANDREW Bass is the Parish Priest of

two parishes – Holy Trinity at Granville and

Holy Family at East Granville. He said the

support and friendship of parishioners in these

vibrant faith communities sustains him in his

ministry of pastoral care.

“In caring for two parishes I have tried to

recognise the distinct character of each parish but

also what is common and to draw together the

two parishes as one community,” Fr Andrew said.

“We all have a common faith, a common

liturgy, a common need for holiness and so I

try to provide and to facilitate opportunities for

growth, both liturgically and socially.”

Fr Andrew said he has been blessed with the

loving support of family and friends. “It was from

my parents that I learned the value of the faith.

Living in Saudi Arabia where the practice of all

faiths other than Islam is outlawed they held on

to their faith and risked everything to practise it.”

“The life of a parish priest, as for any priest, is

a life of sacrifice. As a priest you are drawn into

the lives of many men and women, into both the

good and the bad, the joys and sorrows.

“The priest gives not just what he wants to give

or does only what he wants to do but is there to

make known the faith of the Church and, by the

grace of God, to draw men and women to their


Following his priestly ordination in 2008, Fr

Andrew was appointed Assistant Priest at St

Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, then Administrator in

2014. He celebrated Mass daily and on Sundays

and heard confessions.

Fr Andrew was chaplain to St Patrick’s Primary

School and Parramatta Marist High School.

"I visited the primary school weekly for class

visits and confessions. At Parramatta Marist

High School I spent three days a week there to

“The life of a parish pri

is a life of sacrifice.”

say Mass twice a week (once before school and

once at lunch) as well as pray the rosary and hear

confessions. I began a youth group for Year 5 and

6 students, which ran for a number of years.

"I was also the chaplain to Marian Nursing

Home where I would visit the sick and celebrate

Mass for the residents monthly.

"In 2012, Bishop Anthony asked me to offer

the extraordinary form of the Mass (Traditional

Latin Mass), which I did on a weekly basis in the

Cathedral on Saturday mornings."

Have you ever thought

God might be calling you

to the priesthood?

Young men who feel God might be calling them

to the priesthood are invited to contact

Director of Priestly Vocations

Fr Warren Edwards

Email: vocations@parra.catholic.org.au

18 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016



Called to serve those on the edge

n ministry of pastoral care

In 2012, Fr Andrew was appointed Diocesan

Master of Ceremonies by Bishop Anthony after

holding the position of Assistant Diocesan

Master of Ceremonies since 2008.

"I consider the liturgy to be the core of the

practice of the Catholic faith. It is not only the

source and summit of our faith but it is the most

perfect means by which we can offer worship

to almighty God because the liturgy is not

est, as for any priest,

something created by man but given to us by God

in which man participates," he said.

"It should be the anchor of our lives with which

we steady ourselves against the torments and

gain the strength to persevere in faith and good


In 2014, Bishop Anthony asked him to take

up studies in Sacred Liturgy at the Pontifical

University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

"Living in Rome, living in the mind and heart

of the Church, reminded me of the universality




A God-given calling to

ordained ministry, open to

married and single men.

In the service of the Liturgy,

the Word and Charity

of the Church and the faith. To be able to walk

by the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica every day,

and to have it become commonplace, was an

astounding experience.”

On his return from Rome last year, Fr Andrew

was appointed Administrator and then Parish

Priest of Holy Trinity Parish, Granville, and Holy

Family Parish, East Granville.

"The role of the Parish Priest is first and

foremost the pastoral care of the parish entrusted

to him," he said.

"As the Catechism says, Holy Orders is the

Sacrament by which the mission entrusted by

Christ to His apostles is exercised throughout

the Church until the end of time. The Priest is

ordained to offer the sacrifice of the Mass and

to stand in the person of Christ to minister the

grace of the Sacraments. In this way he makes

known to his parishioners what has been made

known to him and seeks to build up the kingdom

of God in that particular place, to make saints of

his people."

Fr Andrew's advice to men contemplating

priesthood is to love the Mass. “Believe that the

sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments are the

foundation for your vocation. In the Mass you

will find the meaning and purpose of who you


By Elizabeth McFarlane

THE LIFE of a deacon is a life serving on

the edge. Christian charitable service, for

which the diaconate principally exists,

extends well beyond the walls of the church to

the marginalised and vulnerable.

Deacon George Bryan, who was ordained to

the permanent diaconate on 8 May and who is

deacon assisting at Mary, Queen of the Family

Parish in Blacktown, said serving those on

the edge is uncomfortable, “but you need to

embrace the uncomfortable and learn how to be

effective in it”.

“It’s about dancing in the gap. You can’t just

live with it, you have to be in it and you have to

learn to dance in it,” he explained.

“In a hospital ministry, I’ve done some things

that I would never have thought possible, but it’s

always because I’m embracing ‘dancing in the


“Holding the hand of a woman in the cancer

ward while a big cannula is inserted because

nobody else is there isn’t comfortable. Listening

to someone’s story who has just been told they’re

going to die isn’t comfortable. They’re not

comfortable places, but they’re life changing.”

Deacons are intermediaries, the go-between

as it were, constantly challenging themselves

to dance in the gap. Deacons like George can

preach, celebrate baptisms and marriages,

conduct Communion services and other

liturgical celebrations such as funeral services.

They do not celebrate Mass, anoint the sick or

give absolution.

Over time, the ordination of deacons had

become a step towards ordination as a priest,

but one of the major decisions of the Second

Vatican Council was to reinstate the permanent

diaconate, an ordained ministry open to both

married and single men.

George met his wife, Kaye, more than 40 years

ago when he asked her to dance at a Catholic

Club in Hurstville in 1973.

The couple married in St Therese’s Church

in Mascot in 1974, were blessed with two

children and are now the grandparents of three


Members of St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook,

George was raised in a devout Catholic family.

Despite not aligning herself with a particular

religion, Kaye has been instrumental in keeping

George grounded in his faith and vocation, and

has been by his side throughout this eight-year

journey towards the permanent diaconate.

“I was very fortunate to have a wife who

acknowledged my religion as being part of me,”

George said.

“One of the really important things in our

marriage is summed up by what Kaye said at our

30th wedding anniversary. We had everybody

Deacon George Bryan and wife Kaye.


around and she said, ‘It’s been 30 years of

tolerance and compromise and I wouldn’t swap

a minute of it.’

“You have to be able to handle each part of

the complete package. Somebody asked me

when I was in formation, ‘What would you

do if someone said you could not be ordained

because your wife is not Catholic?’ And I said,

‘That’s kind of like saying you can’t be ordained

because you’re too tall.’ It’s so integrated.”

George attributes his early retirement and

his call to the diaconate to a tension that was

building in his work and faith life.

“My work was extremely demanding and I

was working quite long hours. I had picked up

on Benedictine spirituality through a talk at

our parish and I decided to visit St Benedict’s

Monastery in Arcadia,” George said.

“I went to a series of retreats and there was a

tension between my intense work life and this

place of real serenity.

“I visited the monastery whenever I could fit

it in and I made some really significant decisions

there, one of them being retirement.”

For George, it was about recognising the Spirit

working in his own life and vocational call.

“I’m not saying that I’d be game enough to let

go of the steering wheel completely but I have

become much more attuned to a direction that I

have not planned,” George said.

“Benedictine spirituality places great weight

on Christ in the other and on the idea of

hospitality. Hospitality doesn’t just mean a tea

and a biscuit. That’s nice, but it’s not really what

hospitality is about. Hospitality is being with

people – living with people.”

The permanent diaconate is a living sign of the

servanthood of Christ’s Church.



Inquiries to Rev Dr Arthur Bridge AM, Director of Vocations to the Permanent Diaconate

Tel 0411 289 954 | arthur.bridge@parracatholic.org | PO Box 23, Toongabbie, NSW, 2146


CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 19


Meet the Buhagiar Family from St Marys Parish

By Elizabeth McFarlane

THE BUHAGIAR family from Our Lady

of the Rosary Parish at St Marys is no

ordinary family.

Married for 23 years, Stella and Steven

Buhagiar are the parents of nine children (six

sons and three daughters) and the adoptive

parents of four Rottweilers, but the extraordinary

nature of their family isn’t due to its


It’s not even due to Stella giving birth to one

set of triplets and one set of twins, though that

certainly adds depth to their extraordinary


What makes the Buhagiar family extraordinary

is their faith. It is their devotion to living out the

faith every day with charity, hope and love.

It is their hospitality and warm welcome

of a cup of tea and a slice of cake despite the

commotion of juggling 11 different lives and

schedules (15 if you count the dogs).

It is their joy in being one family, connected

to their Maltese heritage and extended family in

Malta, witnessed through decades of memories

in photographs, Tetris-framed across the living

room wall.

It is their love for one another in the simple

gesture of a phone call to Stella’s mother every

day at 7pm, coordinated by the children for

almost 15 years.

The Buhagiar family is extra-ordinary and

according to renowned Jesuit catechist, Fr John

A Hardon SJ, their call to be extraordinary is

tantamount to their survival.

“Ordinary Catholic families cannot survive.

The Buhagiar family, from left: Christina, Joseph, Michael, Thomas, Elizabeth, John, Luke, Anthony and Maria with

their parents, Steven and Stella.


They must be extra-ordinary families. They

must be what I do not hesitate to call heroic

Catholic families,” Fr Hardon explained.

Stella and Steven believe there is a level of

heroism that needs to be lived out in order to

sustain their vocation of marriage and family


“It sounds like a funny word, ‘heroism’, but

we’ve had this conversation over the past few

years and we now realise heroism means to do

those things that we can do locally and do them

well,” Steven said.

“It’s about putting your hand up and saying

yes. It’s about saying yes when your parish priest

asks you to be the parent couple of the parish

youth group.

“It’s about saying yes to spending your

weekends volunteering at the local nursing

home or praying outside an abortion clinic

rather than playing soccer.”

It’s about saying yes to the call of married life.

Stella and Steven were engaged after just six

weeks of dating and were married within a year

of meeting.

“We met on St Anthony’s Feast Day (13 June)

and we got married the following year on St

Joseph the Worker’s Feast Day (1 May),” Stella


“We met at my parents’ front door. I heard a

knock at the door and Steven was standing there.

I just knew that he was the one straightaway.

Immediately. It was like someone said in my

head, ‘This is your husband.’

“I knew because I used to pray for him. I used

to lock the door every night for my parents. I’d

check the front door and the screen door, lock

it, and in Maltese, I’d say, ‘Bambin (Jesus), you

have to bring me my husband.’ I said that for a

year or two and that’s where He brought him. He

brought him to my front door.”

Within a week of dating, Steven gave Stella his

Miraculous Medal and asked her if she’d wear it

for him. She hasn’t taken it off in 24 years.

Steven was in the Legion of Mary at Doonside

and had been given Stella’s address to recruit her

and her younger sister for the evening group

they were hoping to start in Merrylands.

“When I knocked on the door and Stella came

out, it wasn’t as romantic for me as it was for

her,” Steven said.

“Stella came out wearing fluoro socks and

eating a banana. I thought she was a bit of a

nerd,” he recalled with a laugh.

“I proposed when we were dancing together

at a wedding. I turned to Stella and asked, ‘What

do you reckon?’”

“And I said, ‘Yeah, okay. No worries.’ And that

was it!” Stella exclaimed.

John, their fourth eldest, believes the faith is

what keeps his family together.

“Our faith has been fostered since we were

young through the rosary and the initiative to

do Bible studies as a family when it got harder to

bring us all together,” John said.

“It’s just those little active things that bring us

together and give us that common ground so

that we can draw on each other to live out our


“It’s not just a tradition passed down. Our

faith is something we all have to live out every




Faith in





Barrister and Spokeswoman for Marriage Alliance,

will speak on the Topic of

‘the Beauty & Joy of Marriage’


Director of the Family and Life Office will speak on

‘the Pope Francis apostolic exhortation

The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia)’


St Paul the Apostle Parish, 40 Buckleys Rd, Winston Hills.

Commencing at 7.30pm and concluding with a light supper.

Register attendance by

emailing marriage@ccss.org.au or

phone Lyn (02) 8822 2222

20 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016



Religious welcome Bishop Vincent

By Sr Ailsa Mackinnon RSM,

Vicar for Consecrated Life

THE PEOPLE of Western Sydney were

pleased to hear of the appointment of

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM

Conv as the fourth Bishop of Parramatta. Bishop

Vincent has received many warm wishes of

welcome since his arrival from both civic and

religious communities.

One welcome was from the religious of the

Diocese. On Friday 15 July, 115 religious, priests,

brothers and sisters, gathered in St Patrick’s

Cathedral for vespers and in the Cathedral Hall

afterwards for a light meal.

It was most appropriate that it was the feast of

St Bonaventure. Bonaventure was a Conventual

Franciscan Friar, as is Bishop Vincent. He was

a man of considerable wisdom and scholarship

who made significant contributions to the

Church of the 13th Century and is acclaimed as

a Doctor of the Church. He is an inspiration for

Bishop Vincent as he exercises his leadership in

the Church of the 21st Century.

In his vespers homily, the Bishop spoke of

the seeming decline of religious life in Western

countries, such as Australia. He reminded us

that religious have a specific role to play in the


By nature, he said, we are not primarily

the workforce for the Church. Rather, we are

catalysts for renewal. We explore new frontiers

and possibilities.

Our job is not merely to maintain existing

order and the status quo, but rather to inspire

and to keep the fire of the Gospel burning for the

sake of the Church and of the world.

The religious present were encouraged by

the Bishop’s words when he said, “I want to

thank you, above all, for who you are, for

the witness of generous love that you give by

virtue of your consecration.”

The religious of the Diocese are committed

to work in liaison with others in the Diocese

in collaboration with the Bishop. We offer

him the assurance of our prayers.

To view a gallery of photos, go to the

album Vespers with Bishop Vincent – 15

July 2016 at https://www.flickr.com/photos/


Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv was warmly

welcomed by religious in the Diocese at

vespers last month. PHOTOS: ALFRED BOUDIB.

Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy

Penrose Park

Fatima Day: Saturday 13 August

A day of prayer with Monsignor John John Kallarackal from the Apostolic

Nunciature! Come and offer prayers with us for our needy world.

Exposition 10am, Holy Mass 11am, After Lunch; Procession and Devotions at

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Principal Celebrant: Monsignor John John Kallarackal


Divine Mercy Sunday: 7 August

11am - Solemn Mass followed by

devotions including Chaplet of Divine


Fatima Family Sunday: 17 July

11am - Holy Mass with Renewal

of Wedding vows, followed by


Upcoming celebrations in our shrine

Monday 15 August: The Assumption of Our Lady

Holy Day of Obligation, 11am Holy Mass followed by Exposition

and Benediction.

Pauline Fathers’ Monastery

Address: 120 Hanging Rock Road, Berrima, NSW, 2577 Phone: 02 4878 9192

Email: paulinefathers@yahoo.com.au

Website: www.penrosepark.com.au


CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 21

CATHOLIC YOUTH CatholicYouthParra @cyp_parramatta @CatholicYouthParra

YMT outreach: responding to God’s call

By Elizabeth McFarlane

STANDING IN FRONT of a crowd of high

school students and sharing how God has

worked in your life is a daunting task,

but young people aged 18-30 across Australia

are taking up the challenge in their call to join

Youth Mission Team (YMT).

One of the leading Catholic Youth Ministries

in Australia, YMT has been delivering peerto-peer

youth outreach for 30 years to high

schools across the country, operating four

ministry teams in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne

and Wollongong.

YMT relies heavily on donations and sponsors

and after the recent loss of a major benefactor,

YMT is seeking the financial support of

foundations, businesses and individual contributors

to continue their ministry.

Based in Baulkham Hills, the team in

Sydney is made up of dedicated and inspiring

young people who have deferred studies and

full-time work to devote a year to living in a

radical common lifestyle of prayer, simplicity

and mission, striving for eternal change in

themselves and others.

They run high school retreats, reflection days

and seminars, performing dramas, coordinating

activities and sharing their faith testimonies

to restore hope and the faith to the lives of

Australian teenagers.

Jacqueline Holden and Paul Fam are part of

the team in Sydney in response to what they

describe as “God’s call on their hearts”.

Beginning and ending each day with prayer

at 6am and 10pm, Jacqui and Paul attend daily

Mass and spend time each day in worship and

In the Youth Mission Team (YMT) Sydney team are (from left): Peter Dominish, Jacqueline Holden and Paul Fam.


personal prayer, as well as being pastorally and

spiritually mentored.

Peter Dominish has been managing the team

now for three years and his wage is supported by

donations and income received from facilitating

school retreats.

“It’s definitely more than a job. YMT for me

is about being a genuine human being the way

God intended us to be,” Pete said.

“I look to Christ and go, ‘Here’s this guy who

is so bold in being Himself that He didn’t try

to hide it.’ Those are the kind of relationships I

want in my life, where I can be a witness of that

boldness of self to other people and I can be a

witness to my team members so that they can go

out and be a witness to the youth. It is just trying

to mimic the kind of relationship and household

you think a Christ-centred household would


"It doesn’t mean that you don’t talk about

problems. It’s the opposite. You have to

communicate because if you don’t communicate,

if you’re not honest, if you’re not vulnerable,

then the household is going to struggle.”

Living in a house with people who were

strangers before you moved in can lead to

disagreements, but Paul said it is the pastoral

support of mentors that strengthens the team to

move past divisions and focus on the mission.

Paul believes there is a real care for the people

who live in the household. “It’s great having that

third eye to mediate sometimes when you can’t

see eye to eye and you just need some other

input. Pete is great for that,” he said.

“Sometimes you don’t need a huge lecture.

Sometimes you just need a small word and that’s

enough to bring everyone back to focus on what

is really important.

“Most of the time, it can be something small

that kicks it off but that household pastoral care

is great – just someone coming out to meet you

in your household and asking you what is going


YMT members also spend two days a week

working and pooling their wages to cover basic

living expenses, leaving themselves an allowance

of just $25 a week.

“Being able to go up the front and explain our

way of life and have students come up to us and

say, ‘You have $25 a week? How do you do that?’

It’s a beautiful way to open up a conversation,”

Jacqui explained.

“YMT has taught me so much about myself

and others, as well as what it means to be a true

leader. I’ve learnt not to be a leader who stands

up front on a pedestal. It’s about meeting the

students where they are at and where their life

is at right now.

“It’s amazing to see students almost start to

change in front of you. Being able to talk to

students you would have never met if it weren’t

for YMT is a privilege."

To support YMT, visit ymt.com.au and donate

through YMT’s eternal change process under

‘Contributions' or phone (02) 4284 6600.

Diocesan Development Fund

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Supporting the

growing needs of the

institutions and agencies within

the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta


22 CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016


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.



Renewal of mind, heart

and spirit at Blackheath

By Michelle Davis

FROM 30 April until the evening

of 4 May, Sacred Heart Parish

at Blackheath was host to

the Thomas More Renewal team,

comprising Dominican Fathers

Michael Champlin OP and Nick

Punch OP and Franciscan Sr Joan

Bukrey OSF.

Fr Nick is a former Australian

Provincial of the Dominicans and

more than 20 years ago he teamed

up with Fr Mike and Sr Joan from

the US. They travel across the US and

Australia as a scriptural preaching

team awakening renewal in the hearts

of individuals and parishes.

They said that being a mixed team

of men and women was an important

part of Dominican and Franciscan

spirit today.

The Thomas More Renewal team

inspired and challenged individual

participants and the parish as a whole,

by sharing the richness of Scripture

during their talks and allowing the

Spirit to resonate in our hearts during

the Q&A sessions.

The community was strengthened

further by the conversations, reflections,

fellowship and shared food at

the conclusion of each session.

Sacred Heart

Parish invited

this team to

help us grow

as individuals

and as a faith


The grace and Mercy of God was

truly present through each session

but especially through the 2nd Rite

of Reconciliation and a Mass of


The Preaching Team with some of the

Sacred Heart community.

In this Year of Mercy, we felt the

grace of God present among us

and we experienced His mercy and

healing through the sacraments.

We are a small parish, yet at least

40 people attended each of the talks

and more than 60 people availed

themselves of Reconciliation and


Inspired by Pope Francis and the

Year of Mercy, Sacred Heart Parish

invited this team to help us grow as

individuals and as a faith community,

to meet the challenges of the future

and to be renewed in our relationship

with God and to be adults, firm in our

faith as true followers of Jesus.

The renewal was a great gift, it

was a whole parish experience with

parishioners sharing their talents

of music, hospitality, service and

planning. Parishioner feedback about

the renewal and its benefits has been

most rewarding.

For more information about the

Thomas More Preaching Team visit:









St John Vianney was very devoted to St Philomena.

Pope Gregory XVI called her “the great wonder worker”.

Mass at noon with Confession from 11.30am. St John

Vianney's Church, 17 Cameron Street, Doonside. A

short walk north from Doonside station, the one past

Blacktown. Please bring a snack to share. Elizabeth

tel or text 0423 15 44 63, epeoples9@gmail.com On

Facebook: Libby Peoples (events)


Everyone is welcome to join the Holy Hour for Vocations

from 7pm-8pm for adoration, prayer, music and quiet

time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St Patrick’s

Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta.


Confirmation for Adults will take place on Thursday

1 September with Bishop Vincent Long in St Patrick's

Cathedral, Parramatta. The Office for Worship will host a

Catechesis and Formation Day for candidates interested

in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation this year.

From 9.30am-2pm on Saturday 20 August at the

Diocesan Assembly Centre, 1-5 Marion St, Blacktown.

Light lunch provided. All sponsors must attend. RSVP 17

August: alobo2@parra.catholic.org.au



Catholic Youth Parramatta (CYP) invites young adults

aged 18-35 to the next Parra-Matters! Roaming

Formation for Youth Ministry. From 7pm-9pm at

Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, 125 Barnier Drive,

Quakers Hill. For updates join Catholic Youth Parramatta

on Facebook.


Keynote speakers: Sophie York on ‘The Beauty and Joy

of Marriage’ and Ben Smith on Pope Francis’ apostolic

exhortation ‘The Joy of Love’ (Amoris Laetitia). Presented

by CatholicCare Social Services and the Family & Life

Office. St Paul the Apostle Parish, 40 Buckleys Road,

Winston Hills. Commencing at 7.30pm and concluding

with a light supper. Registrations: CatholicCare tel (02)

8822 2222, marriage@ccss.org.au

“The most beautiful

and visually

compelling film

I have ever seen. I did

not want it to end.”

Kim, Brisbane.

Filmed and Edited by

Michael Luke Davies

A unique inside portrait of

the world of the Tyburn Nuns.

“This film takes you into

another realm…”

What is life in a cloistered Benedictine

community really like? Let the Tyburn

Nuns take you to their 9 monasteries

around the world. Witness the nuns’ holy

life of prayer and work, centred on the

Eucharist, in this remarkable film.



or send cheque/money order for $25

payable to:

Tyburn Priory, 325 Garfield Road East


Name ........................................................


Address .....................................................





CatholicOutlook | AUGUST 2016 23

Based at our picturesque Mamre House

and Farm, offering 200 acres of tranquil

gardens, farm land and orchards




Choices Wellbeing offers therapy services

under the NDIS including family counselling,

carer counselling and support coordination.

Choices CreateAbility Day Options provides

a holistic service offering opportunities and

programs in community participation, life

skills and active ageing that are tailored to

fulfill individual needs and aspirations.


Choices Training is a registered training

organisation offering customised learning in

For further information

hospitality and horticulture.

CALL (02) 8822 2222

EMAIL choices@ccss.org.au

Choices Garden Services provides supported

employment for individuals over the age

of 16 in receipt of the disability support


For further information

phone: (02) 8822 2222 | email: choices@ccss.org.au

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