Catholic Outlook September 2016

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

VOLUME 19, SEPTEMBER 2016 | PHOTO: Elizabeth McFarlane

A day of Mercy

Parish secretaries contemplate Mercy at

Shrine of Holy Innocents






pages 12-13 page 21









Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv





Last month, the Church celebrated

the 102nd Migrant and Refugee Sunday,

which was made all the more special in the

context of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope

Francis, speaking on this occasion, acknowledges

that refugees and people fleeing their homes

challenge individuals and communities, and

their traditional ways of life; at times they upset

the cultural and social horizons which they


However, we need to see them as our

brothers and sisters who, like us, are in search

of justice, freedom, dignity and opportunity for


Affirming our Christian duty of care for them

in the face of rising intolerance, the Pope writes:

“Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of

mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us

from taking the suffering of others for granted,

and points out a way of responding which,

grounded in the theological virtues of faith,

hope and charity, find practical expression in

works of spiritual and corporal mercy.”

As Christians, our attitude towards those in

need is formed by our own experience of God’s

love and mercy. We can show them the love and

mercy of God precisely because we ourselves are

the recipients of the same love and mercy.

Our encounter and acceptance of others is

intertwined with the encounter and acceptance

of God himself. Welcoming others means

welcoming God in person!

Pope Francis admonishes us: “Do not let

yourselves be robbed of the hope and joy of

life born of your experience of God’s mercy,

as manifested in the people you meet on your


Many of us in Western Sydney are, in fact,

beneficiaries of the Australia that dared to

welcome the unwelcomed. As a former refugee, I

remember with pride and gratitude the Australia

that rose to the challenge in the wake of the boat

people crisis in the 1970s and 80s. It accepted an

unprecedented number of Asian refugees for the

first time in its history.

Even though there have been challenges in

their resettlement and integration, the Australia

that embraced them exemplified the best of the

Australian spirit.

It dared to afford the privilege of opportunity

to the underprivileged and a fair go to the

underdog. It lived up to its call and destiny as a

civilised, free, diverse and richly blessed migrant


Migrants and refugees are beneficiaries of

Australia. But they, in turn, also enrich this

nation. Australia is what it is today because of

their love of freedom and fundamental human

values. Australia is what it is today because of

their determination and drive for a better future.

We honour the legacy of this great nation not

by excessive protectionism, isolation and defence

of our privilege at all costs. Rather, we make

it greater by our concern and care for asylum

seekers in the spirit of ‘a fair go’, compassion

and solidarity that has marked the history of our

country from its humble beginnings.


We stand united with one another, with

men and women of goodwill in working for

the coming of the Kingdom. We stand united

with Pope Francis who has given us a strong

leadership on the care of asylum seekers and


His words and gestures, in particular, inspire

us to speak and act in favour of God’s poor for

whose cause we will be judged. “As you did it to

the least of these, you did it unto me” (Matthew


These words of Jesus teach us to see the face

of the Incarnate God in our asylum-seeking

brothers and sisters. It is our duty, as Pope Francis

says, to replace indifference with compassion,

ignorance with respect and suspicion with love.

Our Catholic faith commits us to build a

new society and a new world according to the

kingdom vision of Jesus. With the men and

women of goodwill, let us build a better Australia

and a better world with the values of the Gospel.

May our endeavour to replace the culture of

fear and indifference with that of encounter

and acceptance be brought to fulfilment in

accordance with God’s vision of the fullness of

life for all humanity.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses

to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional

Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will review

the response of Catholic Church authorities to

allegations of child sexual abuse by former priest

John Joseph Farrell. Case Study 44 will examine

the response of the Dioceses of Parramatta and

Armidale to allegations made against Farrell.

The diocesan launch of Migrant and Refugee Week took place at the All Saints of Africa Centre in

Blacktown last month.


"As you did it

to the least of

these, you did it

unto me."

The Diocese of Parramatta is committed to

continuously reviewing and improving its

child protection policies and procedures and

encourages anyone who was abused in any

way to contact our Office for Safeguarding &

Professional Standards tel (02) 8838 3419 or


The public hearing is due to commence on 12 September in Sydney. For more information visit:

http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/ or http://www.safeguarding.org.au/






5, 8


6, 7

DIOCESAN NEWS 10, 11, 18, 20,

21, 23








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


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Sarah Falzon

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is copyright and may not be reproduced

without permission of the editor. Catholic

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Catholic Press Association.

2 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016





The Mercy Cross and Relics were carried in procession out of St Patrick’s Cathedral

into the world through our pilgrimage to Prince Alfred Square. PHOTO: ART IN IMAGES.

Way of Mercy

launched on pilgrimage

The Way of Mercy was launched on 8 August.


By Richard McMahon, Director of Pastoral Planning & Implementation

WHAT A WONDERFUL beginning for

our Way of Mercy! We experienced

a joy-filled launch at St Patrick’s

Cathedral on a beautiful sunny day, celebrating

the feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop on

8 August.

Bishop Vincent Long inspired the hundreds

of students and people from across the Diocese

who gathered to step out and take a risk as we

symbolically moved out of the Cathedral into

the world through our pilgrimage to Prince

Alfred Square nearby.

At the Parramatta War Memorial and through

the parklands, we prayed for God’s mercy within

the conflicts of our world, and for all of God’s


Parishes and schools, religious congregations,

ministries, Church groups, agencies and

movements will host the Mercy Cross and Relics

of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Blessed

Teresa of Calcutta as they journey throughout

the Diocese in coming months.

A number of our schools have received the

Way of Mercy, with creative and meaningful

celebrations, including drama performances,

dance, music and even the creation of a local

Stations of the Cross through the crafting of 14

miniature crosses.

St Margaret Mary’s Parish at Merrylands

hosted the Mercy Cross and Relics on the

weekend of 13-14 August, and on 21 August

they were hosted by Mary, Queen of the Family

Parish at Blacktown.

Both regional parish celebrations involved

neighbouring parish and school communities,

with processions, smoking ceremonies,

inspiring testimonials and time for prayer and

personal reflection.

World Youth Day pilgrims have featured each

weekend, and wonderful hospitality offered.

A snippet of the Blacktown Regional Parish

Celebration can be viewed here: https://www.


The Way of Mercy is being experienced in

parishes and schools, and celebrations are also

being organised at other significant locations

to illuminate special works of mercy in our


The first of these was the diocesan launch of

Migrant and Refugee Week at the All Saints of

Africa Centre in Blacktown. Plans are underway

for the Mercy Cross and Relics to journey into

one of the prisons within our Diocese and to an

aged care facility, among other locations.

It has been a privilege for me to join with

many of the energetic teams planning for

upcoming celebrations, and it is a delight to

witness parishes and schools combining ideas

and resources to create enriching and engaging


I encourage parishes and schools to consider

ways in which they can be inclusive of many

people in their celebration, and to brainstorm

how to broaden the invitation. For instance,

how do we invite families of students, families

of catechist children, and families of children in

sacramental preparation?

Finally, let us consider Pope Francis’ call for

us to be Faces of Mercy long after the Holy

Doors close at the conclusion of the Year of

Mercy in November. Mother Teresa says, “We

think sometimes that poverty is only being

hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of

being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is

the greatest poverty. We must start in our own

homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

At the All Saints of Africa Centre in Blacktown.


At Mary, Queen of the Family Parish in Blacktown.


St Mary of the Cross MacKillop famously

encourages us, saying: “Never see a need without

doing something about it.”

On behalf of our Way of Mercy Diocesan

Team, I express my grateful thanks to all engaged

in our Way of Mercy, and continue to be inspired

by the joy, warmth and faithfulness expressed in

the way you go about your preparations.

Please share with us your own stories and

images as we continue on this journey of grace

with our Diocese.


The Mercy Cross and Relics will visit these


5 September, Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead;

11 September, Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish,


17 September, Our Lady of Lourdes Church,

Baulkham Hills;

18 September, St Michael’s Parish,

Baulkham Hills;

24-25 September, St Finbar’s Parish,



CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 3

CATHOLIC YOUTH CatholicYouthParra @cyp_parramatta @CatholicYouthParra

WYD In-Sync unites us with pilgrims in Krakow

By Rev Paul Roberts EV,

Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation

ON 31 JULY, exactly as our pilgrims to

World Youth Day 2016 began the final

Mass with Pope Francis in Krakow,

1000 people gathered with Bishop Vincent Long

OFM Conv at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish,

Greystanes, for WYD In-Sync to unite in Word

and sacrament across the world.

The young adult liturgical band of the parish

supported the crowd’s musical worship superbly

as Bishop Vincent led the Eucharist and

encouraged the pilgrim missionary outreach to

which we are all called.

Overflow seating with heaters and outdoor

screens gave a hint of the overnight vigil

sleep-out atmosphere of every WYD! And

the enormous strumming, singing and bongo

energy of the Neocatechumenal Way musicians

outside the church after Mass, amidst 45 huge

waving international flags, could have fooled

anyone that indeed we were present at WYD!

A growing feeling of connection to our

pilgrims could be felt in the night air, many of

whom had met communities in the Philippines

on the way to Poland where all of our Parramatta

pilgrims were now united with people from

across the planet!

Accompanied by that vibrant outdoor music,

the crowd at Greystanes moved in waves to the

adjoining Camilleri Hall where the specially

commissioned In-Sync Big Band shook the

building with joy and talent to welcome us in

for more.

We had catered for 400 with Filipino street

food and Polish and Filipino desserts but had

to get an urgent truck of pizzas to multiply the


During the proceedings, a number of video

pieces were shown, prepared specially for

the WYD In-Sync event by our tech friends

travelling with the pilgrims in Poland.

These video testimonies supplemented the

testimonies of live pilgrims; Polish Fr Piotr Kruk

OP, our Western Sydney University chaplain,

introduced us to Poland on screen and surprised

us as a spirited didgeridoo player; pilgrims

from previous WYDs shared the fruits of their

experience in their lives since travelling; Bishop

Vincent shared of his harrowing and trusting

refugee pilgrimage on the sea as he escaped the

sad oppression in his homeland Vietnam at age

During WYD In-Sync with Bishop Vincent we were deeply united in prayer and friendship with our

pilgrims in Krakow.


18; the WYD In-Sync band peppered the night

with celebration as well as backing a closing

prayer and praise experience; and a live stream

from Krakow played continuously on one of the

three active screens used for the event.

Our committee that worked with the Diocese’s

Institute for Mission to organise WYD In-Sync

has extended warmest thanks to: Greystanes

Parish and its high school, St Pauls College,

for the welcome, task involvement and great

support; our Catholic Education Parramatta

IT unit for superb technical provision; and the

many great people who joined us to provide

hospitality, meaning, joy and the hard work of

humble jobs!

The timing of Bishop Vincent’s appointment

to our Diocese made it impossible for him to

attend WYD this time. But if WYD In-Sync

becomes a tradition to link our Diocese with the

WYD energy in the host city, then the future OS

pilgrims of our Diocese and those @home In-

Sync might have to battle it out for the Bishop’s


Thanks to Bishop Vincent and the many local

pilgrims who joined together for the Diocese’s

inaugural WYD In-Sync and our warmest

welcome home to the pilgrims and their leaders

with whom we were deeply united in prayer and


To view a gallery of photos from WYD In-

Sync please visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/


4 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016



Awards acknowledge generous service

THE RECIPIENTS OF this year’s diocesan awards

were presented with their awards by Bishop Vincent

Long during a ceremony in St Patrick’s Cathedral on 8

August, the feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

Following vespers, Bishop Vincent presented the

Diocesan Medal of Honour and the Diocesan Certificate of


“Tonight we have come to honour individuals who have

given themselves in generous service of the Church and the

community. They have followed the example of Christ, who

came not to be served but to serve and to give his life for

others,” Bishop Vincent said.

“The honour we bestow on them recognises not only what

they have done, but also the spirit of Christian service with

which they imbue their environment and relationships. It is

not so much the quantity of their deeds but the quality of

their commitment.”

Award recipients included four Certificated of Recognition,

68 Medals of Honour and one posthumous Medal of Honour.

To view a gallery of photos visit https://www.flickr.com/


Certificate of Recognition

Mrs Meryl Austin, Salvation Army Chaplain

Mr Allan Drew, St Bernadette’s Parish, Lalor Park

Mr William Gregory, St Bernadette’s Parish, Lalor Park

Mr Brian Robson, Anglican Church Chaplain

Mrs Henrietta Stathopoulos, St Andrew’s College, Marayong

Diocesan Medal of Honour

Mr Mervyn Atkins, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mr Leo Bahlmann, Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains

Mr John Beale, Maltese Community, Blacktown

Mr Barry Bradbery, Holy Family, East Granville

Mrs Mary Butler, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Greystanes

Mrs Patricia Carr, Good Shepherd, Plumpton

Mrs Margaret Climpson, St Patrick’s, Parramatta

Mrs Margaret Condon, St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith

Mr Clarence Cross, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mrs Barbara Cross, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mr David Currie, Holy Spirit, St Clair

Mrs Margaret Currie, Holy Spirit, St Clair

Mr Vince Dobson, St Finbar’s, Glenbrook

Mrs Maureen Duffy, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Greystanes

Mr Reginald Farrell, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mr John Gately, Padre Pio, Glenmore Park

Mr Daniel Hale, Holy Trinity, Granville

Mrs Harriett Hyde, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Greystanes

Mrs Julie Irvine, Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains

Mrs Christine Jenneke, St Bernadette’s, Castle Hill

Mrs Alison Johnson, St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith

Mr Ian Jordan, St Monica’s, Richmond

Aunty Janice Kennedy, Aboriginal Catholic Services

Mr Laszlo Kocsis, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mr Bernie Le Breton, Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains

Mrs Sainimili (Mili) Lee, St Patrick’s, Parramatta

Mr Alphons Lette, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mrs Eva Lusch, St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith

Mrs Marie Maher, Our Lady of Lourdes, St Michael’s Parish,

Baulkham Hills

Mrs Patricia Matchett, St Thomas Aquinas, Springwood

Mrs Rita McCreadie, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mrs Barbara McGrillen, St Anthony of Padua ,Toongabbie

Mrs Moya McGuiness, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mr Richard McGuiness, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mrs Lorraine McHugh, St Andrew the Apostle, Marayong

Sr Judy McLeod RSM, St Bernadette’s, Castle Hill

Mr Kevin Mills, Diocese of Parramatta

Mr John Mizzi, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Greystanes

Mr Bernard Norris, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mrs Mary Norris, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mr Peter O’Leary, St Patrick’s, Parramatta

Mr Michael Patterson, Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains

Mrs Carmel Patterson, Our Lady of the Way, Emu Plains

Mr Eddie Paunga, Holy Family, Mt Druitt

Mr Arthur Pillay, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mr Gerard Pinto, Holy Trinity, Granville

Mrs Doris Portelli, Holy Trinity, Granville

Mr Spiro Portelli, Holy Trinity, Granville

Mr John Quattromani, Mary Immaculate, Quakers


Mr Allan Reynolds, Mary Immaculate, Quakers


Mrs Jan Reynolds, Mary Immaculate, Quakers Hill-Schofields

Mrs Margaret Richards, St Finbar’s, Glenbrook

Mr Anthony Ruzgas, St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith

Mrs Mary Sacco, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Greystanes

Mrs Espy Sarno, Holy Spirit, St Clair

Mrs Kathleen Sayer, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mrs Mary Sherry, Diocese of Parramatta

Mr Charles Spiteri, St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith

Mrs Josie Spiteri, St Nicholas of Myra, Penrith

Mrs Janice Stuart, Holy Spirit, St Clair

Dr John Sullivan, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mrs Anne Sullivan, St Michael’s, Baulkham Hills

Mrs Irene Tracey, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mr Adrian Van Doorn, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mrs Helen Van Doorn, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mr Paul Vella, St Anthony of Padua, Toongabbie

Mr Harry Williams, Our Lady of Lourdes, St Michael’s

Parish, Baulkham Hills

Mrs Monica Zachulski, Our Lady of the Rosary, Kellyville

Diocesan Medal of Honour – Posthumous

Mr Jack Barrett, St Patrick’s, Parramatta


Very Rev Peter G Williams VG EV

Very Rev Christopher de Souza


Very Rev Wim Hoekstra EV PP

Rev Mons Ronald McFarlane EV


Very Rev John Hogan

Very Rev Peter Blayney JV PP

Very Rev Paul Roberts EV

Rev Luis Fernando Montano

Rodriguez MG PP

Appointed for a period of five years


Very Rev Peter G Williams VG EV

Very Rev Christopher de Souza


Rev Mons Ronald McFarlane EV


Very Rev Wim Hoekstra EV PP

Very Rev John McSweeney EV PP

Very Rev Paul Roberts EV

Rev Paul Slyney PP

Rev Brendan Murphy SDB PP

Rev Paul Marshall PP

Rev Ian McGinnity PP

Rev Brendan Kelly SJ

Rev Christopher Antwi-

Boasiako Adm

Rev John Paul Escarlan

Very Rev John Hogan

Rev Suresh Kumar

Rev Luis Fernando Montano

Rodriguez MG PP

Very Rev Peter Blayney JV PP

Appointed for a period of five years.


Northern Deanery –

Rev Ian McGinnity PP



Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

has confirmed the following


Central Deanery –

Rev Paul Marshall PP

Western Deanery –

Rev Andrew Fornal OP PP

Mountains Deanery –

Rev Michael O’Callaghan PP

Eastern Deanery –

Very Rev Robert Bossini PP

Appointed for a period of five years.

Rev Giovani Presiga Gaviria

Parish Priest

Sacred Heart Parish,


For six years from 18 July.

Rev Trevor Hird

Director of Mission and Chaplain

of CatholicCare Social Services


For three years from 22 August.

Mr Joe Cashman

Executive Director of

CatholicCare Social Services


Effective from 15 August.

Mr Gary Smith

Chairman of CatholicCare Social

Services Parramatta Advisory


Effective from 15 August.

Mr Robert Barden

Chairman of the Diocesan

Liturgical Commission

For three years from 9 August.

Ms Ana Pintos

Member of the Diocesan

Liturgical Commission

For three years from 8 August.

Proud photography partner of Catholic Outlook


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CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 5



Launching out into the deep

By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA,

diocesan Social Justice Coordinator


commenced on 22 August and

concluded with World Day of

Migrants and Refugees on Sunday 28 August.

In a first for the Diocese of Parramatta, a

resource kit for Migrant and Refugee Week was

launched on 20 August at the All Saints of Africa

Centre in Blacktown.

Entitled Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us.

The Response of the Gospel of Mercy, the kit was

prepared by the Australian Catholic Migrant

& Refugee Office and includes a message from

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv.

Bishop Vincent came to Australia as a

refugee from Vietnam in 1981. He serves as the

Australian Bishops Delegate for Migrants and

Refugees and Chair of the Australian Catholic

Social Justice Council.

We took as our starting point for the launch

these words in Bishop Vincent's message:

"Friends, we stand united with one another,

with men and women of good will in working

for the coming of the Kingdom. We stand united

with Pope Francis who has given us a strong

leadership on the care of asylum seekers and

refugees. ... With many newly arrived migrants

and refugees in our midst, I encourage you to

enact the culture of encounter, welcome and

acceptance in practical, personal and communal


We gathered in Blacktown to celebrate,

treasure and acknowledge the many and varied

stories of migration that each and every one of

us shared. We were from Africa, South Sudan,

Ghana, the Pacific Islands, and Australia.

Whether it be migration from country to city

for employment or the challenge of migration

because of war, persecution and famine with

the need to seek asylum or the assistance of the

United Nations High Commission for Refugees


Hearts and minds were truly in awe as John

Cinya shared his story of migration from South

Sudan. His journey included time in a refugee

camp and finally, through the work of the

UNHCR, he was granted the opportunity to

resettle in Australia.

John outlined the many difficulties and

challenges along the journey, but we were all left

in no doubt what values, skills, commitment and

gifts that John and many others like him bring to

Australia and our community here in Western


We were reminded that the culture of

encounter and taking the time to hear another’s

story helps us to see our common humanity,

rather than our perceived differences.

Yvonne Leonna shared the story of her

family’s migration and the challenges of settling

in a new country and culture. She said it was the

parish community that provided a home and

anchor to sustain them through a difficult time

of transition.

A common thread in the speakers’ stories was

their gratitude to Australia for the welcome that

they had received.

A significant and meaningful discussion that

followed included concrete and practical ways

that we can continue to be communities of

hospitality and welcome.

Audrey Hill from the Pacific Islander

community led us in song and the chaplain to

the African Catholic community, Fr Christopher

Antwi-Boasiako, led us in the final prayer and


The launch was centred with prayer as part of

The diocesan launch took place at the All Saints of

Africa Centre in Blacktown.


the Way of Mercy in our Diocese and we were

privileged to have the Mercy Cross and relics

of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata and St Mary of the

Cross MacKillop with us at the All Saints of

Africa Centre.

Blacktown seemed a natural place to locate

this launch.

According to Western Sydney University’s

Institute for Culture and Society sociologist Dr

Shanthi Robertson, Western Sydney is one of

the most culturally diverse places in Australia, if

not the world (Blacktown Advocate, 2 December


“Blacktown’s diversity is quite higher than

the state’s and even higher than other places in

Western Sydney,” Dr Robertson said. “Over 40%

of people in Blacktown were born overseas and

about 37% of families speak a language other

than English at home."

The article said that the 2011 Census data

revealed that among the 340,000 residents living

in the Blacktown Council area, 143 countries

were represented.

The energy and excitement of the diocesan

launch will project us into next year as the

communities are planning to continue this

custom and celebrate our significant and

meaningful stories of migration with prayer,

story, dance, songs and food. A living legacy of

the Way of Mercy.

We realised that although Migrant and Refugee

Sunday is celebrated on a particular Sunday of

the year, our wish was to share and celebrate this

each and every day as our concluding prayer


"Look with Mercy on our brothers and sisters

who live as migrants and refugees.

"May they find welcome and a home away

from home here in the vast Australian land.

"Bless those who work and minister to help

the migrants and refugees.

"May setbacks and opposition not discourage

them in their endeavours.”

Copies of the resource kit can be downloaded

at no charge from www.acmro.catholic.org.au

To view a gallery of photos from the

launch, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/


When the care you seek is

unconditional - talk to us.

wnbull@wnbull.com (02) 9519 5344


Parra_Outlook.indd 1

6 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016


17/05/2016 4:51 pm

Social Justice Statement 2016–2017

A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society

THE NUMBER of Australians aged 65 and

over will more than double by the middle

of the century. This has been rightly

described as ‘the great success story of human

development’. Increasing numbers of older

people have an excellent chance of enjoying

good health and an active life for many years.

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice

Statement for 2016-2017 is entitled A Place at

the Table: Social justice in an ageing society. It

celebrates the value, dignity and significant

contributions of older people to the life of the


Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv is the Chair

of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

(ACSJC), which has developed resources for

parishes, schools and communities.

The diocesan launch of the statement will take

place on Sunday 25 September at Sacred Heart

Parish, Blackheath, commencing with Mass at

9.30am followed by the launch from 11am-noon

(see panel on this page).

In solidarity with all generations, older people

have a rightful place in the heart of community

life. The bishops confront the utilitarianism in

our society that values people only for what they

produce and contribute economically and that,

at worst, can regard older people as burdensome

or dispensable.

In a society in which older people are being

asked to work beyond the traditional retirement

age, the bishops call for the benefits of work

to be shared equitably. We must be especially

In solidarity with all generations, older people have a rightful place in the heart of community life.

aware of the needs of those who enter retirement

in poverty or are particularly vulnerable

to economic hardship, social isolation or


The bishops consider the circumstances of

those who are approaching the end of their lives

and warn of the loneliness, ageism and abuse

that older people can experience. In particular,

the bishops warn about implications of the

current community debate on euthanasia.

The Bishops call for communities of mercy and

love — where people reach out and minister to

vulnerable older people, where bonds between

generations are built up, and where no one is

cast as being a burden or as rivals to younger


The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

has developed resources that are available for

download free of charge before Social Justice

Sunday. These resources include liturgy notes,

a PowerPoint presentation and resources for

parishes, schools and social justice groups.

See website: www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au

Copies of the statement, prayer cards and Ten

Steps leaflets can be ordered from the ACSJC

tel (02) 8306 3499 or send an email to admin@



Your invitation to the

Diocesan Launch of

A place at the table

Social Justice Statement


Sunday 25 September

Sacred Heart Parish

18 Inconstant Street


Mass at 9.30am

followed by the Launch

in the Parish Hall

from 11am-noon


CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 7



Mother Teresa

Sunday 4 September from 7.30pm on www.xt3.com

Exhibition on the life of Mother Teresa until 12 September

St Mary’s Cathedral Crypt during normal cathedral opening hours

‘We already knew she

was a saint!’





Canonised on

4 September 2016

Students from Mother Teresa Primary at Westmead are inspired by the example of the saint’s life.

AS POPE FRANCIS prepares to

canonise Blessed Teresa of Kolkata on

4 September, students from Mother

Teresa Primary, part of Sacred Heart Parish,

Westmead, declare that they have known all

along she was a saint.

"Her passion in helping the poor like Jesus,"

said Alana from Year 5, even in the face of

opposition "shows she was already a saint".

Emilia in Year 6 said Mother Teresa had a very

compassionate heart. “This enabled her to work

for the poor without excluding anyone. It didn't

matter who they were."

Tanvi from Year 6 observed, "The world today

needs to learn from her because people are

excluded because of racism."

The students believe that the example of

Mother Teresa's life, the Christian virtues she

demonstrated, inspire them to be better people.

Anushka from Year 5 said, "We may not be

able to do what Mother Teresa did, but her

sacrifice inspires us to try harder."

As part of the Way of Mercy, the school will

celebrate the canonisation by joining the wider

parish community to welcome the Mercy Cross

with the relics of Mother Teresa and St Mary of

the Cross MacKillop.

The other parish school, Sacred Heart

Primary, will combine with students from

Catherine McAuley Westmead and Parramatta

Marist High, also within Westmead Parish, to

mark the occasion, which will conclude with a

Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral.

The school's principal, Gary Borg, said Mother

Teresa was an embodiment of the Sacred Heart

of Jesus in our time. “Given the global tensions

at present, her life, of seeing the face of Jesus in

everyone she met, is important for us to learn



was born on 26 August 1910 in

Skopje, Albania, and was baptised

Gonxha Agnes. Her father’s sudden death

when she was eight left the family in difficult

circumstances, but Agnes was still brought

up with much love and was well formed in

the knowledge of her Catholic faith.

She left home when she was 18 in

September 1928 to join the Sisters of Loreto

in Ireland. She received the name Sr Mary

Teresa and in December of that year she

departed for India, arriving in Calcutta (now

Kolkata) on 6 January 1929.

Until 1946, Teresa lived out her religious

vocation at St Mary’s School for Girls,

where she was both a teacher and principal.

However, on 10 September 1946, during the

train ride from Kolkata to Darjeeling for her

annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her

‘call within a call’ to leave behind the school

gates of Loreto and to enter the world of the

poor and forgotten. After some months, she

was joined by some of her former students.

In 1950, the new congregation of the

Missionaries of Charity was officially

established and by the 1960s, Mother Teresa

began to send her sisters to other parts of

India and then to other parts of the world,

including Venezuela, Albania, the Soviet

Union and Australia.

The rapid growth of the order and its work

among the poorest of the poor meant that

the world had begun to take notice of Mother

Teresa and her work. She was presented with

numerous awards, most notably the Nobel

Peace Prize in 1979. She received these

awards with the words that her work was

done “for the glory of God and in the name

of the poor”.

Mother Teresa suffered from bad health,

especially at the end of her life, but she

continued to govern her congregation and to

seek to respond to the needs of the poor and

the Church.

By 1997, the congregation’s sisters

numbered approximately 4000 and was

established in 123 countries.

Mother Teresa died on 5 September 1997.

She received a state funeral and her body was

taken in procession through the streets of


She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on

19 October 2003 and on 17 December 2015,

Pope Francis recognised a second miracle

attributed to her intercession, involving the

healing of a Brazilian man with multiple

brain tumors.

This miracle paved the way for the Vatican

to set 4 September 2016 as the date for

Mother Teresa to be canonised.

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8 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016


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CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 9


Pope Francis: “All religions want peace.”PHOTO: HAMILTON LUND.

‘Muslims need not apply’ Sound familiar?

By Rev Walter Fogarty, Chair of the

Diocesan Interfaith Commission

THE ANCIENT Greek playwright

Aschylus is arguably the first to use the

phrase “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

In the present ‘war on terror’, truth has long

been dispensed with. With each terrorist attack,

media and political figures from all sides are

quick to shriek their anti-Islamic rhetoric

without much concern for the truth.

Pope Francis, when asked by journalists about

his reaction to the slaying of the French priest Fr

Jacques Hamel by radicalised terrorists in July,

commented, "We should not be afraid to speak

this truth. The world is at war because it has lost

peace … Not a war of religion. There is a war

of interests. There is a war for money. There is

a war for natural resources. There is a war for

domination of peoples. This is the war.” He

added, “All religions want peace. Others want

war. Do you understand?"

But do we understand?

The aim of terrorism is to terrorise, but when

individuals and societies give in to hysteria

fuelled by ill-informed commentators then the

terrorists win; the terrorists get what they desire.

One means of combating terrorists is to be

informed. As Pope Francis suggests, naming this

war for what it is, a war of greed which corrupts

and abuses religion for its own end, is an

important step in combating hysteria and giving

peace a chance, to paraphrase John Lennon.

Viewing the present struggle as a war of

religions, as a ‘natural consequence’ of Islam,

is to abuse Islam and to play into the hands of

the terrorists. Islam is not interested in world

domination or the overthrowing of other


Non-Muslim commentators ask why Muslims

do not denounce the terrorists. The reality is

that they do; they just do not get reported.

Dr Susan Carland of Monash University,

writing in The Guardian (19/7/2016), argues,

“Muslims have condemned terrorism and Isis

in numerous media reports … In fact, contrary

to what is alleged, Muslims have led protests

against Isis, Australian imams have issued

refutations of terrorism, suicide bombing and

fighting in foreign conflict, and a cohort of some

of the world’s most esteemed Muslim scholars

have issued a point-by-point classical, scholarly

refutation of Isis and made it available in 10


In a public lecture at Newington College

broadcast on ABC Radio, Dr Carland points out

that so few people know about such attempts

because they are not reported.

In early 2015, the National Imams Consultative

Forum, made up of leading imams and Islamic

jurists and theologians from around Australia,

released an important document, An Australian

Muslim perspective on some key contemporary


Despite the document’s importance it received

little media attention.

The imams instruct that “the Holy Qur’an and

the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasise

that all human beings come from one family

and that all of them have dignity that should

be respected.” The imams also say it is “not

permissible in Islam to harm or kill a person.

God has forbidden killing a person whether he

or she is a Muslim or non-Muslim.”

Regarding other religions, the imams recall

how “Islam requires Muslims to interact with

people of other faiths gently and fairly, to

work with them for the common good, and to

maintain good social and neighbourly relations

with them.”

Despite a widespread misconception, Muslims

“may not force anyone to convert to Islam;

conversion by force is illegitimate under Islamic

norms.” In fact, “Muslims have an obligation to

protect the rights of non-Muslims … including

the protection of persons, property, and places

of worship.”

Addressing the complex issues of “caliphates”,

“fatwas” and “Jihad” the imams stress that only

in specific circumstances can these things come

into being.

Referencing the “so-called caliphate in Syria

and Iraq” they note “conditions for its legitimacy

have not been met … and therefore claims

of this caliphate carry no authority,” as such

“Australian Muslims … have no obligation or

requirement to listen to or follow the dictates of

the aforementioned caliphate.”

Similarly, “Muslims, who have had no

in-depth knowledge or training in Islamic

scholarship, in particular Islamic jurisprudence,

have no authority to issue fatwas.”

Charles Sturt University’s Zuleyha Keskin

at the recent Violence in the Name of Religion

conference at the Australian Catholic

University (Melbourne), addressing the issue

of radicalisation, noted “Muslim radicals have

a further underlying driving force for their

actions … a misinterpretation of their religion.”

She argued that groups such as Isis, Boko

Haram and Al Qadea provide “distorted

theological arguments” to justify their atrocities,

atrocities that cannot be supported by the

Qur’an or Islamic tradition.

“While addressing the social, political,

emotional psychological causes of radicalism

will have a positive effect,” she went on to

explain, “they will fall short of fully addressing

radicalism unless a theological counter narrative

is provided.”

Muslims and people of other faiths need to be

informed about the true teachings of Islam so

the false ideology of terrorists can be overcome.

As regards ‘Muslims need not apply’, this

is a deliberate misquoting of employment

advertising of not so long ago in Australia. The

actual line was ‘Catholics need not apply’.

Just as Catholics then found such

discrimination, based on ignorance and

prejudice, unjust, so too any attempt to promote

such ill-informed prejudice towards Muslims in

Australia today must be justly overcome.



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

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Divine Mercy Sunday:

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Fatima Family Sunday:

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10 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016


Fr John McSweeney installed as PP of St John XXIII

By John McCartney


XXIII, Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens,

welcomed Bishop Vincent Long OFM

Conv on 7 August. He joined the community to

celebrate the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time and

install Very Rev John McSweeney EV as their

new parish priest. Fr John is also Episcopal Vicar

for Deacons.

Bishop Vincent mentioned the changes and

challenges the parish had undergone in its

relatively short history and said we need to

acknowledge the good that God has done, often

through or in spite of human frailty and forces

beyond our control. Furthermore, we need

to grow through changes – good or bad – and

accomplish our mission in the world.

He reminded the congregation that Pope

Francis had made the call to go out to the

margins the dominant theme of his pontificate.

He reminds us constantly of the challenge to

question the status quo, to renounce security

and mediocrity, to cross the street like the Good

Samaritan, to meet God in the wounded and


In closing, Bishop Vincent noted the feast of

Australia's first recognised saint, Mary of the

Cross MacKillop, on Monday 8 August. She

challenged the status quo and envisioned new

ways of living and sharing the Good News.

He called on us to follow her example of

making the missionary journey to our brothers

and sisters in need and by our active discipleship,

witness and engagement be the leaven for the


After Mass, the parish celebrated with a

multicultural food fiesta.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv installed Fr John McSweeney as Parish Priest of St John XXIII

Parish on 7 August.


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Ben Smith – Director

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CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 11




They have always been a part of

your FAMILY,

in your celebrations, unions, happiness & sadness

In their retirement,

they can still remain a part of your


Please give generously


Donations to the Father’s Day

Appeal will help to ensure that our

‘spiritual fathers’ are cared for in

their retirement. We know that you

are most grateful for the dedicated

ministry of our priests and that you

want to see them properly housed and

looked after. So please give generously

to the Father’s Day Appeal.

How to support the Father’s

Day Appeal for Retired and Sick


EITHER add the appeal envelope with the

details of your contribution to the special

Father’s Day collection.

OR, if you are unable to make a contribution on

Father’s Day, ask your parish office for an appeal

envelope and post your donation to the Clergy

Support Foundation, PO Box 1501, Baulkham Hills

BC, NSW, 1755.


If you are preparing or changing a will you may

consider bequeathing a donation to the Foundation.

Ask your solicitor or executor to telephone the

Clergy Support Foundation on (02) 9639 0598.

To make a donation online please visit www.csfparra.org.au


12 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016



Engaging in conversation with those on the edge

By Elizabeth McFarlane


through the rear-view mirror and reflect

on what has formed the narrative of your

life and the narrative of the lives around you.

The annual Father’s Day Appeal for Retired

and Sick Priests will be held on the weekend of

3-4 September. Contributions to the appeal are

a way of acknowledging the priests who have

ministered throughout our Diocese over the


Ordained to the priesthood on 17 July 1965,

Fr Paul Hanna spent a significant amount of his

ministry as Parish Priest at Holy Family Parish

in Mount Druitt from 1980 to 2004.

“Mount Druitt has a large Aboriginal

population and for the past 35 years, I have been

working with Indigenous Australians. I believe

that ministry has been qualified by relationship,”

Fr Paul said.

Retiring from parish work in 2004 due to

illness, Fr Paul decided to embark on on a sevenyear

postgraduate degree on Social Exclusion

and jail systems, based on his ministry in Mount


“In retirement, you have the freedom to

look at particular issues that have made up

the narratives of those around you,” Fr Paul


These narratives also formed the basis for

initiatives he started during his time as Parish


Fr Paul is the patron of the Men’s Shed in

Mount Druitt, having also helped start the Mt

Druitt Food Co-Op Ltd.

The Men’s Shed began as a partnership with

the University of Western Sydney, now known

as Western Sydney University.

“It is a hub and a centring point. The Men’s

Shed is a meeting place that deconstructs the

pressure and tension that can lead to high

suicide rates,” he explained.

“Being a listening post, it provides a legal

triage centre for domestic violence and, in

fact, all types of violence. It’s now 14 years

since it started and it’s now about having that

conversation about its future direction.

“It’s a primary healthcare facility and radar that

picks up the needs of the community. Listening

to the needs of the community is essential. The

food cooperative began because of a recognised

need of the community for dignity over welfare


Fr Paul Hanna believes this new chapter of

his life gives him the time to reflect on these

initiatives but also to seek out stories and

relationships, immersed in the bigger picture.

“The edges come to you in retirement. It’s

no longer about starting a parish program.

Those programs are important and were part

Bishop Vincent gathered with clergy in ministry and retirement together with our seminarians in St Patrick’s Cathedral on 4 August for the feast of St John Vianney, patron

saint of parish priests.


of my parish ministry, but in retirement, it is

now about relationship and deciphering social

determinants,” he explained.

“It’s about listening to and being part of the

uncomfortable conversations with those on the

edge. I think we sometimes forget that Jesus was

born outside of the town. Christmas doesn’t

always portray the exclusion that Jesus suffered.

And where did he die? He died outside of the


“It’s important to reflect on that because we

can’t be comfortable with the status quo, as the

Gospel relates to all people.”

Fr Paul’s time is now spent engaging in the

conversation on the edge.

“We need to have the spirituality of a misfit.

Jesus was a bit of a misfit. He didn’t turn away

from the uncomfortable conversations. I fly with

broken wings just like everybody else but I have

to try and follow His example,” he said.

“In my postgraduate studies, I was asked what

methodology I was going to use. I chose to do

narratology, which is the transformative power

of narrative.

“You have a story. I have a story. Parramatta

has a story. We all have a story. Retirement gives

you the time to listen to those stories.”

Please give generously to the Father’s Day

Appeal through donation envelopes available

from your parish or online at: www.csfparra.


Fr Paul Hanna: “In retirement, you have the freedom to look at particular issues that have made up the narratives

of those around you.”


Our retired Priests have always been a part of

your FAMILY,

in your celebrations, unions,

happiness & sadness


In their retirement,

they can still remain a part of your



Please support our sick and

retired Priests through the Clergy

Support Foundation.

Donations are welcome at any

time – amounts of $2 or more are

tax deductible.

If you are preparing or changing

a Will you may consider

bequeathing a donation to the


For more information please call

(02) 9639 0598 or donate online

at www.parra.catholic.org.au


CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 13

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

The wonderful experience

of World Youth Day 2016

AS THIS ISSUE of Catholic

Outlook goes to print, all

eyes have been on the

world’s best athletes in Rio

de Janeiro. In the lead-up to

the Olympics, we heard a lot

about the logistical concerns

for the host city and many

queried whether the event

would come off without a


As medals were won,

personal goals achieved

and true sportsmanship

displayed, it didn’t matter if

the games were perfect or

not, as we celebrated and

revelled in the joy of nations

coming together in peace.

“We will

carry our


with us for a


As with any large event, the logistics of organising large

groups of people can lead many questioning if it is all

worth it. Having just returned last month from World

Youth Day (WYD) 2016 in Poland with 300 pilgrims from

the Diocese of Parramatta, the experience is always

worth it. We will carry our experiences with us for a


In my conversations with young people throughout the

journey, what really resonated with so many of them is

the wonderful sense of belonging to the global Church;

being able to come together to celebrate their faith

among so many diverse cultures.

A sense of belonging is a core aspect of our Catholic

community and is a foundation for everything we do

in our schools. As the Diocese works towards a new

RE curriculum (see Page 15), the connections between

home, school, local and global communities will continue

to be strengthened as we continue towards providing a

Catholic schooling experience for students that inspires

them to be agents for change in the world.

As Pope Francis said in his address at the WYD prayer


“We have come here from different parts of the world,

from different continents, countries, languages, cultures

and peoples ... Let our best word, our best argument, be

our unity in prayer.

Our pilgrims at WYD in Poland and the

mission encounter in the Philippines

MORE THAN 300 young people from the Diocese of

Parramatta made their way to meet Pope Francis in

Poland at the largest youth event in the world, World

Youth Day (WYD).

For more than 200 pilgrims, their journey started

on 15 July with a mission encounter experience in

the Philippines, travelling throughout the Diocese of

Tagbilaran on the island of Bohol to assist schools and

communities devastated by an earthquake in 2013.

Pilgrims then made their way from the Philippines

to Poland, to join in the week-long WYD festivities

with other young Catholics from all over the world,

commencing on 20 July in Krakow.

The Opening Mass took place on 26 July and pilgrims

participated in daily catechesis with bishops from across

the world as well as attending a Youth Festival and

Vocations Fair.

On 28 July, our pilgrims attended the Papal Welcome

and Opening Ceremony and gathered for the Way of

the Cross the next evening. The events concluded with a

14km walk to the outskirts of Krakow for an overnight

vigil and sleepout before the Final Mass on 31 July, which

drew more than two million people. Pope Francis urged

pilgrims to not be afraid to say “yes” to Jesus.

Above: Executive Director of Schools Greg

Whitby immersed in Philippines mission


Left: Our Australian pilgrims were united

with pilgrims from all over the world in


World Youth Day drew more than two million young people from

around the globe.

Pilgrims helped to restore schools and parish buildings affected

by the 2013 earthquake.

“In all the settings in which you find yourselves, God’s

love invites you bring the Good News, making of your

own lives a gift to him and to others. Jesus is inviting

you, calling you, to leave your mark on life, to leave a

mark on history, your own and that of many others as


I thank all those involved in the planning and

preparations for WYD16 and a special thanks to our

chaplains who invited us each day to celebrate the Good

News and united us each day in prayer.

Greg Whitby

Executive Director of Schools


blog: bluyonder.wordpress.com

14 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016


Pilgrims worked with students and teachers in the Philippines as part of their mission encounter experience.

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




THE DEVELOPMENT of a new Religious

Education (RE) curriculum for the Diocese

of Parramatta is well under way following

the recommendations from the 2014 RE


Recently in Blacktown and Rooty Hill,

more than 90 participants, including

parents, students, clergy, primary and

secondary RE Coordinators and principals,

gathered over a series of four half-day

meetings to have the opportunity to

contribute to the Renewing RE project.

Led by Catholic Education’s Project

Officer for Renewing RE, Gerard Gaskin,

participants were presented with the

findings of the 2014 review and invited

to examine and respond to a proposed

model and seven broad objectives of the


1. Intent — that all participants (students,

teachers, parents, staff) sustain a deep

personal relationship with Christ;

2. An emphasis on the deep and

complementary relationship that

should exist between home, school

and parish;

3. The proposed curriculum will draw

deeply from the liturgical cycle — the

cycle of seasons, feasts and

celebrations of the Church’s year;

4. The core content of the curriculum to

be based on the Catechism of

the Catholic Church, providing a

comprehensive framework of belief for

every level of the school year;

5. Teachers to be encouraged to use best

theory and practice to engage students

in their understanding in order to cater

for the diverse learning needs of all


6. In line with current curriculum

theory, the RE program will have a

spiral structure which re-visits,

More than 90 participants gathered over a series of four half-day meetings.

develops and deepens understanding

of all the essential ideas over each year

of schooling, ensuring that no central

teaching of our faith is left out; and

7. The curriculum will be easily accessible

online, allowing seamless access for

parents, teachers, students and clergy

— a particular innovation for the

curriculum and its resources.

The curriculum model builds upon the

Second Vatican Council’s call for the

integration of faith, culture and life in

education. Learning and teaching elements

of the curriculum will include:

• Studying the Sunday Gospel;

• Content statements derived from the

Catechism of the Catholic Church;

• Accessing the Church’s rich heritage of

culture, architecture, art and music;

• Understanding the distinctive language

used by the Church;

• The many applications of the Gospel’s

life-changing message as a call to a

deepening relationship with Jesus


• Drawing inspiration from the example

of the lives of the saints and martyrs;


• Applying Christian ethics and morality

to the challenges of contemporary


Gerard said participants overwhelmingly

supported the proposed curriculum and

expressed enthusiasm for the Renewing RE


The RE Review was conducted

for Catholic Education Diocese

of Parramatta in 2013-14 by

The University of Notre Dame

Australia. In June 2014, the

then Bishop of Parramatta,

Most Rev Anthony Fisher

OP, formally adopted the 11

recommendations for the

development of a new K-12 RE


Data was collected through a

survey questionnaire, through

interviews and by classroom

observation. Eight distinct

groups were consulted: school

principals, parish priests, RECs,

teachers, students in Years 5

and 6, 9 and 11, parents and


“The acceptance and welcome given by

the participants could not have been

more encouraging,” Gerard said. “The

curriculum’s success will depend on the

degree of enthusiasm with which it is

ultimately taken up in all schools and

parishes of the Diocese.

“In the words of one secondary student, ‘I

would like religion in schools to be more

than a subject, but something students can

look forward to in order to live out the


The project will include trialling some

proof-of-concept learning sequences in a

number of schools in 2017, with a possible

roll-out of teacher professional learning and

a draft curriculum as early as 2018.

I think therefore iLearn: Using iPads

effectively in the classroom

SINCE 2014, eight primary schools in the

Diocese of Parramatta have participated in a

one-on-one iPad program to support student

learning. The project commenced with Year

4 students being provided with individual

access to an iPad Air for their educational

use at home and school and the program

continued into Year 5 and Year 6 with the

same group of students.

During the program, teachers were provided

with professional learning support and

resources to assist them to successfully

incorporate the use of the iPad into classroom

learning and teaching, including face-to-face

professional learning, in-classroom support

and an online course using iTunesU.

Parents also had opportunities to be engaged

with their child’s learning and how they

could support their child in using the iPad

appropriately at home.

Now in its final year, the program involving

500 students has enabled a personalised

approach to learning, provided equitable

access to technology and greater flexibility

with students learning anywhere and anytime.

To read more about the iLearn program

visit: www.parra.catholic.edu.au and watch

via our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/


Primary school students trialling a one-on-one iPad program.


CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 15

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

Called to lead the Way of Mercy

HUNDREDS OF students and Catholic

Education staff joined people from across

the Diocese for the official Way of Mercy

launch in St Patrick’s Cathedral on 8


Monsignor McGovern Art Prize

This marked the beginning of a threemonth

journey (8 August - 13 November)

of the Mercy Cross and the relics of St Mary

of the Cross MacKillop and Mother Teresa

to churches, schools and communities

across the Diocese.

In his homily, Bishop Vincent Long OFM

Conv said the Way of Mercy was symbolic

of the missionary journey that we are called

to make individually and as a community.

“We seek to walk with all people,

identifying with their griefs and anxieties,

their joys and their hopes. We seek to

strengthen and encourage one another


STEM expo

AHEAD OF National Science Week (13-21

August), McCarthy Catholic College, Emu

Plains, hosted a week-long STEM (Science,

Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)


Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv with students

from Caroline Chisholm College, Glenmore

Park, Parramatta Marist and Patrician Brothers’

College, Blacktown. PHOTO: ART IN IMAGES.

to follow Christ,” Bishop Vincent said.

“Through the Way of Mercy, we especially

accompany those who struggle to live and

still fall short of the Christian ideal.”

The Mass was followed by a procession

from the Cathedral to Prince Alfred Square

in North Parramatta.

Delany College's Monsignor McGovern Primary School Portrait Prize finalists with Johnny Romeo.

DELANY COLLEGE, Granville, hosted

the 2016 Monsignor McGovern Art Prize

exhibition and ceremony on 26 July.

Years 5 and 6 students from neighbouring

Catholic primary schools participated in

the competition.

Congratulations to Anger Akot from Holy

Trinity Primary, Granville, who won the

Year 5 category and Vatsal Sharma from

St Margaret Mary’s Primary, Merrylands,

who won the Year 6 category.

Noted Australian pop artist Johnny Romeo,

who works with a number of schools

through Catholic Education’s CAPTIVATE

program, served as the contest judge.

“The students created technically and

conceptually sophisticated self portraits in

various media,” Johnny said.

Loyola CTTC Try-A-Trade Day

The expo saw more than 350 Year 5

students from nine Catholic primary

schools participate in engaging activities

and demonstrations at McCarthy.

These included F1 racing cars, CO2

canister powered paper model race cars,

marshmallow projectiles and egg crash


McCarthy Assistant Principal Teaching and

Learning Michelle Deschamps said STEM

was a significant component in the new


“We thought it would be valuable to help




Students in Years 11 and 12 can complete their Higher School Certificate and start a trade qualification in

Automotive, Hairdressing, Hospitality, Metals and Engineering, Brick & Block Laying, Plumbing, Childcare, Carpentry,

Shopfitting and Electrotechnology.



McCarthy Catholic Trade Training Centre

75 Mackellar Street Emu Plains

T:4728 8129 E: mccarthycttc@parra.catholic.edu.au




Loyola Catholic Trade Training Centre

91 North Parade Mount Druitt

T:9407 7081 E: loyolacttc@parra.catholic.edu.au


or visit

Year 5 students from Our Lady of the Way

Primary, Emu Plains, sitting with a McLaren F1

racing car.

build the skill set of the primary school

students coming into McCarthy as well,”

Michelle said. “Through these STEM days

we have tried to address all of the aspects of

STEM: construction, racing, motion, speed,

timing, angles and the science of safety.”

As part of the event, the Penrith Panthers

Under 20 rugby league team visited the

school to show their support and see the

learning taking place.


Students were able to try the trade of hairdressing for a day.

ON THURSDAY 4 August 2016, Loyola

Catholic Trade Training Centre (CTTC)

hosted Year 10 students from four local

high schools to experience what it would be

like to study hairdressing at the CTTC.

Year 10 student Jacinta Gonzalez from

Nagle College, Blacktown said the day

helped her in making a decision for senior


“Before today I didn’t know a lot about

hairdressing or what would be involved in

studying it, so I’ve found it very informative

and have decided that I would like to come

and study here,” Jacinta said.

Loyola Assistant Principal Samantha

Boreham said she would welcome any

other interested students to enquire with

the CTTCs about seeing if a trade is the

right fit for them.

“If students are looking to try a trade such

as brick and block laying, commercial

cooking, hairdressing, electrical, carpentry

In other news Loyola Senior High School at

Mt Druitt have won the Jesuit Cup in Debating.

or mechanical they are welcome to contact

either McCarthy or Loyola and we can help

to accommodate them to come in and try a

trade for a day,” Sam said.

There are two CTTCs in the Diocese of

Parramatta at Loyola Senior High School,

Mount Druitt and McCarthy Catholic

College, Emu Plains. CTTCs offer Year

11 and 12 students the opportunity to

combine vocational training with academic

subjects to complete both their HSC

and a traineeship, or the first year of an


To view videos and photo galleries for these news stories please visit:


16 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016






NDIS and YOU – Your Questions Answered ̶ National

Disability Insurance Scheme Information day on Wednesday

7 September at Shop 3/163 Macquarie Rd, Springwood,

10am-4pm. Bookings preferred, tel (02) 8822 2222 or email


REACH Wellbeing Group – Do you have depression or

bipolar disorder? Are you looking for strategies to manage

your illness and wellbeing? Come along to the REACH

Wellbeing Group, nine-week program held on Tuesdays

(25 October – 20 December), 7pm-9pm, MMNC, 9 New St,

Lawson. Cost: $22 for workbook. (Suitable for people aged

over 18 years.) To register, tel 0451 385 931 or email


Responsible Gambling Support Group is free and on every

Saturday, 9.30am-11am at CCSS Centre, 38 Prince Street,

Blacktown. For more information, tel (02) 8822 2222.

The video clip featuring Holy Cross students is one of a series of positive video messages on the website www.bebrave.help

Online messages aim to inspire,

reassure and encourage youngsters

STUDENTS from Holy Cross Primary

School at Glenwood have participated in a

new project initiated by CatholicCare Social

Services, which seeks to consolidate online

resources that can inspire, reassure and

encourage primary school aged children.

The project is called Be BRAVE/Inspir8 and

the students were filmed by Western Sydney

University, dancing with TV personality

Olivia Phyland, to the song BRAVE by Sara


The video clip breaks down the word

BRAVE into an acronym:

B – Be Yourself;

R – Remember your strengths and the

positive things in your life;

A – Ask for help when you need it;

V – Voice, say what you want to say; and

E – Everybody struggles sometimes, it’s

human, you’re not alone.

The dance routine was choreographed

Cool Kids













by Dance Fever — a multisport program

running nationally across schools over a

number of weeks.

CatholicCare Social Services initiated the

project to fill a gap for wellbeing resources

tailored to children in primary school.

Karolyn Ellis is Manager Family

Relationship Services with CatholicCare.

"There are too many opportunities for young

children to be negatively impacted online and

not enough material to positively influence

them," Karolyn said.

The video clip featuring Holy Cross

students and Olivia Phyland, as well as fellow

TV personalities Kayne Tremills and Tim

Mathews, is one of a series of positive video

messages that can be viewed on the website


Messages are delivered from the perspective

of “I remember what I struggled with in

primary school”. Contributors share what

they have learned since, to remind children

that they are not alone and we all have


There are video contributions by GWS

Giants player Stephen Coniglio, Western

Sydney Wanderers players, NSW Swifts

player Caitlin Thwaites as well as 2016 Local

Hero Australian of the Year Cath Keenan and

2015 Young Australian of the Year Drisana

Levitzke Gray.

Bendigo Bank kindly supported the project.

As well as providing videos, the website

aims to consolidate anything that can

positively impact the wellbeing of this age

group, with recommended movies, books and

apps. The site also seeks to assist parents by

consolidating various professional resources

relating to children’s wellbeing into one place.

For more information, visit the website


Thank you

All Saints of Africa Playgroup/Mums' Group – Thursdays

(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. Social interaction, support and

friendship for mums. Tel (02) 8822 2250.

Aboriginal Catholic Services – 254 Luxford Rd, Emerton

(in Holy Family Parish). Groups include Problem Gambling

Support Group, Tutoring Time – free Literacy Tutoring for

Kindergarten – Year 6, Playgroup, RECOVER Wellbeing

Groups – including Sew4Wellbeing, Create4Wellbeing,

Dance4Wellbeing, Habit Breaking4Wellbeing. 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 SymptoThermal Method

or CREIGHTON MODEL FertilityCare System. Further

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

Bringing Up Great Kids – Promote positive relationships

with children. Held over six Tuesdays from 25 October,

CCSS Centre, 38 Prince St, Blacktown, 6pm-8pm. Bookings

essential, tel (02) 8822 2222.

Keeping Kids in Mind – For separated parents who are

experiencing ongoing conflict. Held over five Mondays from

31 October, CCSS Centre, 38 Prince St, Blacktown, 6pm-

8.30pm. Fee: $100. Bookings essential, tel (02) 8822 2222.

Cool Kids/Cool Little Kids – support for families when

children are experiencing high levels of anxiety. For

preschool-aged children, eight sessions weekly on Tuesdays

from 6 September, 7pm-9pm. Springwood Preschool,

9 Macquarie Rd, Springwood. For further information, tel

(02) 4751 4956 or email springwood@ccss.org.au

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.


(8 Week Program)

38 Prince St Blacktown

NSW 2148

From Monday 17 October 2016

3:45pm – 5:15pm

Bookings are essential, please call

CatholicCare Social Services for a phone

interview, on (02) 88222222 or send an

email to blacktown@ccss.org.au

The Cool Kids program an evidence-based anxiety

support and therapy program that can be of support

to families and children when primary age children are

experiencing high levels of anxiety. This information

session will address topics such as:

• What is anxiety?

• How to recognise what is happening when

anxiety is present

• Parent-child interactions and how anxiety might

surface in these

• Fighting fear by using detective thinking

• Building skills while facing fears

• Maintaining gains and coping with set-backs

CatholicCare thanks

St Madeleine’s Parish at Kenthurst

for their generous donation to our

disability services

RECOVER Wellbeing – recovery oriented program and

support groups for people living with mental distress.

Monthly get-togethers 4 Wellbeing include: Art and Writing

Group4Wellbeing, Visual Arts & Crafts Group4Wellbeing,

Bead4Wellbeing, Drum4Wellbeing, Dance4Wellbeing,

Create4Wellbeing, Walk4Wellbeing, Breaking

Habits4Wellbeing. For further information, tel (02) 8822

2222 or email soraya.kassim@ccss.org.au

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


CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 17




reflect on


By Adrian Middeldorp


Parramatta gathered at the Shrine of the

Holy Innocents at Kellyville for a day of

reflection and retreat. The shrine was chosen as

it has a one of the designated Holy Doors for our

Diocese during the Year of Mercy.

The day focused on the Year of Mercy, with the

Dean and Parish Priest of St Patrick’s Cathedral,

Very Rev Bob Bossini, challenging participants

to find ways of enacting mercy in their lives.

“The Gospels aren’t there to make us feel

easy. Learning to be merciful like the Father is

difficult,” he said.

“We have a great tradition in the Church of

helping the sick and feeding the hungry, but we

must look at broader ways to do acts of mercy.

“Do we visit those affected by death? Those

who are spiritually poor, not knowing the

Gospels? Do we console those who have lost

sight of the good things?”

A series of days held throughout the year are

a chance for parish secretaries to come together

for both professional and personal development.

Referencing the life of Blessed Mother Teresa

and various saints, Fr Bob said that prayer is the

most important part of our lives as Christians

and finding time for prayer is the best way to

help us enact mercy.

He also encouraged secretaries to embrace

the Year of Mercy and help others to do so by

looking at ways of renewing and deepening

participation within their parishes, especially

with the celebration of the Sunday Mass.

“The celebration of the Lord’s death and

resurrection should inspire us to be involved in

the works of mercy,” he said.

Rev Robert Melnick OFM Conv, Assistant

Priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish,

Kellyville, explained the purpose and

development of the Holy Innocents Shrine and

St Maximilian Kolbe, who features on the ceiling

of the chapel.

A fresco of St Maximilian, a Franciscan

Conventual killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz,

takes prominence in the chapel.

“We honour St Maximilian as he gave up his

life for a father of a family,” Fr Robert said.

He also outlined the vision that the Franciscan

friars have for the shrine to be a place of calm

and reflection in our hectic lives.

To read more about the shrine, see the Parish

Profile on Our Lady of the Rosary Parish,

Kellyville, by Elizabeth McFarlane on Page 8

in the August 2016 issue of Catholic Outlook.

Also online at: http://catholicoutlook.org/


Parish secretaries came together for a day of reflection and

retreat at Kellyville last month. PHOTOS: ADRIAN MIDDELDORP.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Holy Hour for Vocations

St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta

RCIA 2016: Foundations and Pathways

with Nick Wagner

Saturday 24 September in Parramatta

The Diocese of Parramatta will be hosting Nick Wagner, author

and producer of TEAMRCIA USA, for one day at Parramatta.

All parish RCIA teams and those who want to learn more about

the RCIA process are invited to attend this conference.

Everyone is welcome to join the Holy Hour for Vocations from

7pm-8pm on the 3rd Thursday of each month for an hour of

adoration, prayer, music and quiet time in the Blessed Sacrament

Chapel in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

From 9am-3pm at

St Patrick’s Cathedral Precinct,

1 Marist Place.

Cost: $50 parish team (five members);

$20 individuals.

To find out more about priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta

contact Fr Warren Edwards, Director of Priestly Vocations

tel 0409 172 700 or email vocations@parra.catholic.org.au

To register your parish team or as an individual, tel (02) 8838 3456

or send an email to the Office for Worship: alobo2@parra.catholic.org.au

18 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016


www.parrafamlife.org.au @parrafamlife parrafamlife


Finding Dory: A metaphor for

finding faith in the modern world

By Ben Smith,

Director of the Family & Life Office

DURING THE July school holidays, I

watched the movie Finding Dory with

some of my children. The movie is

about the adventures of a fish named Dory and

her friends to find Dory’s parents.

As I watched the movie I realised that Dory’s

search was a great metaphor to describe the

journey many of us take on our search for faith

and meaning in our modern world.

Dory’s search is impeded by her incredibly

short memory. However, during her journey,

fragments of her memory return to help guide

its direction. One of these fragments was the

place in the ocean where she lived with her


When she arrived at this location, particular

signs and architectural features triggered other

memories that gave Dory more confidence in

her quest.

Friends also accompanied her on the journey.

She encountered an old friend, a whale shark

named Destiny, who helped Dory remember a

few more things about her childhood.

She was also helped by an octopus, a beluga

whale and her old friends, Nemo and Marlin.

They enabled her to discover the massive fish

tank where she used to live inside a marine


However, her parents were not there and they

were assumed to have died. This discovery left

her extremely disappointed.

She was so close, yet so far away from finding

her parents. In the midst of this search she

recalled another long-lost memory of the

symbolic significance of seashells in guiding her

back to her old home.

As she left the marine institute, having given

up hope of finding her parents, she unexpectedly

discovers a line of shells on the sea floor. As she

follows these shells she discovers a whole series

of seashell lines, all leading to a fish house at

which she finds her long-lost parents.

Her parents revealed that they had not given

up the hope of finding her and had spent time

each day finding shells and laying them on the

sea floor just in case Dory returned to the area.

For many people in their 30s and 40s, Catholic

faith practice can seem like a distant memory.

As our children begin preparing for and

receiving the sacraments, these old memories,

can be stirred.

The child-like trust in God we may have

had when we were young may be recalled. But

finding our way back to God in the context of

our adult life is not that easy.

If we look at the lessons of Finding Dory, a

mixture of places, people and symbols may help

with this journey. In terms of places, a church, a

house or even a place in nature can conjure up a

sense of the sacred.

Friends, family members, priests and religious

who share their faith and their own inner

journeys can act as lighthouses as we try to find

our bearings.

Lastly, the symbols of faith such as a crucifix, a

Dory’s search is a great metaphor to describe the journey many of us take on our search for faith and meaning.

statue of Mary, a prayer or even a hymn can help

those who are seeking faith and purpose.

Our efforts are only part of the story. God is

actively waiting for us to return to our home with

Him. Dory’s parents’ daily task of building lines

of shells in anticipation of her return reminds

us of the father of the Prodigal Son. He did not

lose hope and maintained a regular watch for his

returning son. Once he caught sight of him in

the distance he ran to greet him.

God is waiting for us. All we need to do is start

the journey.

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

Planning is

Available in the



DILHAN JAYAMANNE (Physiotherapist)



Free dental treatment for children from 2-17 years (conditions apply)


• Veteran Affairs: Claims available online

• Special Offer for Tooth Whitening: In chair – 1 person $380

– 2 people $740

– Take home kit only $170


• Health Fund Patients: No gap for check-up/clean/fluoride

• Non-Health Fund Patients: Special introductory offer

($150 check-up/clean/fluoride)

• Special discount for Pensioners and Healthcare card holders




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


tel (02) 8822 2222



81– 83 Richmond Rd, Blacktown, NSW | 9622 1998

Offices at Blacktown, Emerton, Parramatta, Penrith, Springwood

(02) 8822 2222 www.ccss.org.au us on CCSSParramatta


CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 19


Catenians celebrate 30 years at Castle Hill

By Peter Tilbrook,

Province President


Catenian Association celebrated its 30th

anniversary with a dinner on 23 August

at the Hills Lodge Hotel.

The Catenian Association is an international

fraternity of Catholic laymen founded in 1908.

First established in Australia in 1971, more

than 900 Australians are now Catenians and are

formed into 31 circles, 10 of which are in the

greater Sydney area. Castle Hill Circle is one of

three circles in the Diocese of Parramatta.

The anniversary dinner was attended by 50

Catenians and their wives, including visitors

from other circles in the Sydney area, two

of whom were founding members of the

association in Australia.

Special guests were Very Rev Wim Hoekstra

EV, Rev Mick O’Callaghan and Rev Michael

Gathuku. The Catenian Australian National

President, George Kazs, travelled from Canberra

to join the celebration.

A founding member of the circle, Rob Butler,

was the occasional speaker. Mr Butler presented

an informative address in which he discussed

historical evidence and controversies about the

birthplace, family and public life of Jesus.

In congratulating the circle on its 30th

anniversary, the National President said that for

30 years Castle Hill Circle had offered Catenians

and their families opportunities to develop

friendships, share experiences and even have

some fun.

Like all circles, it had done this by meeting

each month to pray, plan social and outreach

From left: Fr Wim Hoekstra, George Kazs and Castle Hill Circle President Peter Huby.

activities, and doing what Jesus and his disciples

so often did — share a meal together.

Mr Kazs said the regular social events with

members and their wives had widened and

strengthened the friendships that they had

formed as Catenians and enriched their family


“Over the years, your circle has made a

sustained and significant contribution to the

pastoral ministry of the Church in the Diocese

of Parramatta, not only by addressing the

spiritual and social needs of Catholic laymen,

but also by strengthening family life within your

parish communities," he said.

The Castle Hill Circle usually meets from

6.45pm on the fourth Tuesday of each month at

the St Joseph’s Conference Centre, 64 MacKillop

Drive, Baulkham Hills. Further information tel

0418 430 464.



Tuesday 20 September at

Kirribilli Club

Why sex is not work:

Stories from the sex trade.

How should we respond?

To be delivered by

Melinda Tankard Reist

The Bishop Manning Lecture is a leading

Church forum hosted by the Catholic

Commission for Employment Relations

in celebration of the significant pastoral

and social justice achievements of

Bishop Kevin Manning.

Arrive 5.30pm for a 6pm start,

Kirribilli Club, 11 Harbourview Crescent,

Lavender Bay.

Tickets are free but places are

strictly limited.

Registrations essential:



Weekend Masses

Saturday 8am, 9:30am

(Mass in the Extraordinary Form – Latin),

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

11am (Solemn Mass), 6pm



Diocesan Development Fund

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Supporting the

growing needs of the

institutions and agencies within

the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta


Weekday Masses

Monday to Friday 6.45am,12.30pm

Public Holidays 8am

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Monday to Friday 11.30am-12.20pm

Sacrament of Penance

Weekdays 11.15am-12.20pm

Saturdays 8.30am-9am, 5pm-5.30pm


Morning Prayer of the Church

Monday to Friday 6.30am

Saturday and Sunday 7.30am


Monday to Friday noon

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.

20 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016



Monday to Friday after Angelus at noon

Evening Prayer of the Church

Monday to Friday 5.15pm

Canticle of Our Lady’s Marian Movement

Friday 1pm

Christian meditation

Tuesday 9.30am-10.15am

Baptism - Sunday 12.45pm by appointment

Marriages - By appointment

Contact the Parish Secretary

tel (02) 8839 8400

email secretary@stpatscathedral.com.au


1 Marist Place, Parramatta


Olivia Lee sitting outside the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel at ACU.

Unconditional love

By Elizabeth McFarlane

THE DOCTORS said her younger brother

may not live through the surgery and to

prepare for the worst.

Chris Lee could come out in a vegetative state

and it would fall on the family to determine

whether to switch off life support.

Olivia Lee was on the phone to her mum who

was at the hospital. Half an hour went by and

they found out that Chris would live but that

there was a chance he could be completely blind.

Chris had been stabbed in the eye and had his

head stomped on in the early hours of Easter

Sunday in 2012 during a night out in Kings

Cross after a drunken altercation.

After two agonising hours, Olivia and her

mum were told the doctors could save one eye.

“It was a very fast two hours of miracles,” Olivia


Having lost their father a few months earlier

to cancer, Chris was grieving by going out and

drinking, leaving Olivia frustrated and distant.

“I was so frustrated because I wanted him to

help out at home. He was the second eldest. We

had a younger brother and sister and he was just

going out,” she said.

“I was completely numb throughout the whole

two hours after finding out about his accident

because I was angry at him. It hurt that he was

going out every second night because I was just

trying to keep what I could together.”

Christian unconditional love is a fundamental

commandment. However, many people can

live their entire lives without experiencing the

circumstances that bring this unconditional love

to light.

For Olivia, it was by her brother’s hospital

bedside that she learnt what it meant to love



“We were on bad terms all of the time. But

when he went into hospital, my mum called me

and said that when he was coming out of the

theatre, the first thing he said was that he wanted

to talk to me,” she said.

“When she told me, I broke down. I didn’t

want to be angry at him. I went to the hospital

and sat by his side. When he woke up in a

daze, he looked up at me through these gauze

baubles that covered his eyes after the surgery. I

remember holding his hand and he said, ‘I am so

sorry’, and that’s all he said, over and over again.

“That’s probably my favourite moment with

him because I knew in that moment what it

meant to love someone unconditionally.”

The healing process was arduous. Olivia

took on the responsibility of driving Chris to

his appointments and making herself available

whenever he needed her.

“I was just very 'matter of fact’ about the

situation,” she explained. “I just blocked

everything else out and focused on what he

needed. I didn’t know if he was going to heal and

I wouldn’t have blamed him if he didn’t.”

Olivia was completing a Liberal Arts degree at

Campion College, which she said was opening

up her mind in a different way to the faith.

"I just remember thinking that the only way

for him to heal is for him to make his way back

to God,” she said.

“My biggest strength is that I can love my

brothers and sister in a way that only an older

sister can. But without my dad, who my siblings

respected so much and were so close to, I needed

someone to fill that gap.

“I decided to pray a novena for nine days. I

prayed to God to give me someone who would

be that vessel to bring Chris back to the faith.”


to see the


By Elizabeth McFarlane

IT WAS THROUGH her family’s

struggles that Olivia Lee learnt to not

only see the signs but to choose to see the

signs of God working in her life.

“It was on the ninth day of my novena that

I was in the library at Campion College and a

guy from class, Brendan Jackson, was sitting

near me,” Olivia recalled.

“I didn’t like him at the time and I thought,

whatever he said to me, I was just going to be

really short with him.

“But he was persistent and kept asking

me questions about what I liked. I wasn’t

forthcoming with answers but he took that as

a chance to talk more about himself, which

annoyed me even more.”

But it was then that Brendan shared

something about himself that Olivia was

not expecting to hear – Brendan’s father had

also passed away. Not only that, but he ran

a young male adult group to help provide a

forum for young men to be mentored and


“It was ridiculous because it was the last

day of my novena. I just thought, ‘This is the

friend who is going to help my brother.’ It

was what I had prayed for and that night I

went and I begged Chris to attend Brendan’s


“He agreed, after a lot of tears from me, but

I knew he wasn’t keen to go. I thought, ‘God,

you’ve got one chance, please don’t stuff this


“I drove Chris to the group and he said he

would only stay one hour and to be there to

pick him up at 8pm.”

Olivia made sure she was there at 8pm on

the dot. She sat in the car and waited. Three

hours went by and Chris eventually knocked

on the car window.

“It was midnight. He hugged Brendan and

when he asked if Chris would attend the

following week, Chris said, ‘Yes.’ I couldn’t

believe it. My novena had been answered,”

Olivia said.

“Chris now goes to the group on his own.

Sometimes he even runs the sessions.”

Olivia is the Pastoral Associate at the

Australian Catholic University (ACU) in

North Sydney and a significant part of her

Olivia Lee (centre) with students from ACU, Monica

Dimon (left) and Anna Vlastelica.


role is engaging with people who are on the

fringe of the faith.

It is through her understanding of

unconditional love and choosing to see the

signs that she is able to engage students in

the faith.

“I just bombard people with love like

Brendan bombarded me with questions. I

make it all about them and I skip the small

talk,” Olivia said.

“The students are responsive because I

am genuinely interested in them, but even if

they’re not responsive, I’ll just keep walking

past them, smiling and asking them about

them. I have no fear of rejection anymore

because of this job.

“They’re not interested in the faith because

they think the faith doesn’t care about them.

They’re at that age where they’re making

some of the most significant decisions in

their lives about vocation, but they don’t

know how to see the signs. They’re not

choosing to see the signs.”

Olivia believes one of the most difficult

questions of the faith is, ‘Why is it a mystery?’

“They ask me how I can have faith in God

but what they don’t yet understand is how

to recognise the signs. There is beauty in

choosing to see the signs of God working in

your life,” Olivia said.

“Even when things seemingly go so wrong.

Sometimes you need those moments to learn

to choose love and, ultimately, God.”


CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016 21


Hands of


By Elizabeth McFarlane and

Adrian Middeldorp

IN THE MOST vulnerable moments of life, when

loved ones are ageing and in need of care, the hands

of those who serve in the Hungarian Catholic

Community are connecting people to their faith through

the preservation of customs, values and language.

Fr Dénes Ledeczi, Chaplain to the Hungarian Catholic

Community and Assistant Priest at Mary, Queen of the

Family Parish in Blacktown, believes it is by the work

of human hands that Christ’s mercy can be seen in the


“As the chaplain, I provide pastoral care to the aged

care centre, St Elizabeth Home,” he explained.

“It is through the blessing of the hands that those who

serve can be an instrument of Christ’s healing. There are

kitchen, cleaning and nursing staff, all of whom care for

the elderly.

“We are a strong, service-driven people.”

The nursing home is named after St Elizabeth of

Hungary (1207-1231), who is the patroness of the

Franciscan tertiaries and one of the most prominent

Catholics in Hungary’s long history.

As a princess of Hungary, she chose to live simply and

funded a Franciscan hospital, devoting herself to the

care of the sick until her death at age 24. The spirit and

benevolence of St Elizabeth is what drove the community

to build the St Elizabeth Home.

Fr Dénes has been the chaplain since 2011 and works

throughout Parramatta, Wollongong and Canberra,

ministering to the spiritual and pastoral care of


The Hungarian Catholic Community bridges the gap

between Australia and Hungary through the faith. With

2000 people involved, Fr Dénes recognises the need of

those in retirement to feel close to their faith in their

native tongue.

“I feel close to them because of the language. I am able

to provide the sacraments, visit the sick, provide spiritual

talks and be there for them in their struggles,” Fr Dénes


Many Hungarian migrants escaped communist

regimes after the Second World War and it was this fight

to keep their Catholic faith that details their strength in

faith today.

The chaplaincy not only includes those who came

from the borders of the modern Hungary state, but those

who escaped from the former Yugoslavia under the Tito

regime between 1965 and 1972.

“The Hungarian Catholic Community also has good

relations with the Hungarian Reformed Church in

Sydney. Four times a year we celebrate together through

an ecumenical service on our Hungarian national feast

days,” Fr Dénes explained.

Fr Dénes Ledeczi is chaplain to the Hungarian Catholic



The South Hungarian Club in Glendenning holds a

Gypsy Ball honouring the Romani, a people who have a

rich and unique culture and heritage throughout Europe.

The Club also holds the Hungarian national feast day

celebrations and is a centre of the Hungarian Consulate,

providing official hours to the Hungarians.

The chaplaincy has a national pilgrimage twice a year

to the Our Lady of Mercy Shrine at Penrose Park, run by

the Order of St Paul the First Hermit. Blessed Eusebius

of Hungary was the founder of the Order of Saint Paul

the First Hermit, signing his name as the first provincial

in 1256.

Fr Dénes is one of many Hungarian chaplains around

the world who work under the guidance of Bishop

Francis Cserháti, a member of the Hungarian Catholic

Bishops’ Conference who is in charge of the pastoral care

of Hungarians living abroad. Fr Dénes said he enjoys a

good friendship with Bishop Francis, who visited the

community in 2012.

Clara Korompay, President of the Hungarian Catholic

Community, says she is grateful to Fr Dénes for his

continuing spiritual guidance and willingness to offer

practical advice and support.

Hungarian Catholic Community

united in the faith

From left: Clara Korompay with former President of the Hungarian Catholic

Community, George Goor and CEO of St Elizabeth Home, Judith Gonye,

celebrating Mr Goor’s 90th birthday.


By Clara Korompay

BETWEEN 1949 and 1952,

the Australian Government

accepted 15,000 Hungarians

as ‘Displaced Persons’. As one of that

number, I arrived in Newcastle with

my parents and brother at the age

of six. In 1956, after the Hungarian

Revolution, Australia accepted

another 14,000 refugees.

In these early days, we Hungarians

clung together, creating various

societies and associations. One of

these groups was formed by those

united in the Catholic faith.

In 1950, a Jesuit priest, Fr Forro SJ,

was posted to Australia to minister

to Hungarian immigrants. Through

his leadership, the Hungarian

community was galvanised into

raising funds to build a hostel in

1967 for elderly Hungarians in Dean

Park, now known as the St Elizabeth


His efforts united the Hungarian

Catholics and the largely scattered

and demoralised émigré community.

I remember the fundraising activities

in which my parents were involved.

Together, with the Hungarian

Ursuline nuns, the Home expanded

over the years to become a Catholic

aged-care facility with more than 130


Our mothers baked, cooked and

embroidered, whilst our fathers

created boxes, magazine racks and

stools etched with Hungarian motifs

to sell at the home's annual fete to

raise money to bring to fruition Fr

Forro's vision.

The chaplaincy and Home are

inextricably linked. The building of

the chapel some 20 years ago, enables

our chaplain, Fr Dénes, to celebrate

Hungarian Mass every Sunday,

making it possible for residents to

attend alongside our community.

We continue to celebrate and

commemorate important historical

and religious occasions. Every year,

a fete is held in commemoration

of St Elizabeth with about 1000

people attending. Once again, at this

year's fete (to be held on Sunday 20

November), Hungarian food and

craft will be sold. Families can expect

to meet old acquaintances and, most

importantly, our chapel overflows for

the ecumenical service.

This community, in turn, has come

to be involved in their local parishes

via their children and grandchildren.

Recently, a concerted effort has been

made to reinvigorate and formalise

the Hungarian Catholic Community.

The St Elizabeth Caritas Hungarian

Association in Ashfield continues

to provide practical and spiritual

support for those in need. The

Hungarian diaspora can feel proud

of the practical, social, emotional

and spiritual achievements of the

Hungarian Catholic Community.

Clara Korompay OAM is

President of the Hungarian

Catholic Community.

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

22 CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 2016


St Dominic’s debating

team wins top spot in

Year 11 competition

On the winning team were (from left): Hartley Dhyon, Jacob Cohen and Ahmed


STUDENTS FROM St Dominic’s College, Kingswood, were

victorious in the finals of the Catholic Schools' Metropolitan

Debating Competition on 29 July, beating more than 50 schools

across metropolitan Sydney to take first place in the Year 11 competition.

The annual debating competition brings together Catholic schools

across Sydney to test students’ reasoning skills, verbal creativity and

public speaking. The competition, which began in May, culminated in

the final that was held at Oakhill College in Castle Hill.

The St Dominic’s College Year 11 team was made up of Ahmed Yar-

Khan, Hartley Dhyon and Jacob Cohen. The students were calm and

composed leading up to their final, where they were presented with the

final topic ‘That university education is worth it’.

The St Dominic’s team was in the affirmative, and argued convincingly

and emphatically against the opposition to win the championship. A

major highlight of their argument came from Jacob Cohen, 15, who

argued that “university education is like the lifting of a heavy blanket

that covers an individual, freeing them, making them able to show their

talents to society at large”.

While the St Dominic’s team performed admirably, they were

matched in their passion and skill by the opposing team from Christian

Brothers’ High School, Lewisham, and the end result was a close call.

The adjudicators carefully considered their verdict, and produced a split

decision. St Dominic’s was declared the winner by a two-to-one vote.

St Dominic’s debating and public speaking coordinator, Claire

McSweeney, said that the win was a great outcome for the school, and

was the result of many hours of hard work from both staff and students.

“The boys were confident, composed and worked together as a

team beautifully. Their cohesion was specifically mentioned by the

adjudicators as a large factor in their victory,” Mrs McSweeney said.

“They have done their school, their coach and their families proud and

have shattered a decade-long dry spell in our finals appearances.”











Your contribution to the annual Father’s Day Appeal for Retired Clergy is a way of acknowledging the priests

who have ministered throughout our Diocese over the years and who are now in need of assistance. Please

give generously to this tax-deductible appeal through donation envelopes available from your parish or online

at: www.csfparra.org.au



The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will review the response of Catholic

Church authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse by former priest John Joseph Farrell. Case Study 44 is

due to commence on 12 September in Sydney and will examine the response of the Dioceses of Parramatta

and Armidale to allegations made against Farrell. The Diocese of Parramatta is committed to continuously

reviewing and improving its child protection policies and procedures and encourages anyone who was

abused in any way to contact the Office for Safeguarding & Professional Standards tel (02) 8838 3419 or



This annual gathering for older married couples and their families is hosted by CatholicCare Social Services.

Mass at 11am in St Patrick’s Cathedral followed by lunch. All married couples and their families are welcome

with special acknowledgement to couples who have significant wedding anniversaries of 25+ years. RSVP 8

September through your parish office or CatholicCare tel (02) 8822 2222, marriage@ccss.org.au


Delivered by Melinda Tankard Reist: ‘Why sex is not work: Stories from the sex trade. How should we

respond?’ The Bishop Manning Lecture is a leading Church forum hosted by the Catholic Commission for

Employment Relations in celebration of the significant pastoral and social justice achievements of Bishop

Kevin Manning. Arrive 5.30pm for a 6pm start, Kirribilli Club, 11 Harbourview Cres, Lavender Bay. Tickets are

free but places are strictly limited. Registrations essential: enquiries@ccer.catholic.org.au


This eConference will commemorate the Jubilee Year of Mercy and take up Pope Francis’ invitation to explore

this central element of our faith. The Institute for Mission at Blacktown will be a host site, from 10.30am-

2.45pm, to book send an email to: connect@ifm.org.au For more information and individual registrations visit:

http://www.bbi.catholic.edu.au/eConference2016. Registrations essential: enquiries@ccer.catholic.org.au


The Office for Worship will be hosting Nick Wagner, author and producer of TEAMRCIA USA, for one day at

Parramatta. All parish RCIA teams and those who want to learn more about the RCIA process are invited to

attend this conference. From 9am-3pm at St Patrick’s Cathedral Precinct, 1 Marist Plc, Parramatta. Cost: $50

parish team (five members); $20 individuals. To register your parish team or as an individual, tel (02) 8838

3456, alobo2@parra.catholic.org.au


This year’s Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement is entitled A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing

society. The statement celebrates the value and dignity of older people. The diocesan launch will take place

at Sacred Heart Parish, 18 Inconstant St, Blackheath, commencing with Mass at 9.30am followed by the

launch from 11am-noon. To order copies of the statement and to downloaded free resources prepared by the

Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, visit: www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au

For more events please go to: http://parracatholic.org/events/

Supporting families in

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Ph: 9680 1344


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CatholicOutlook | SEPTEMBER 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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