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CatholicOutlook

The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta www.catholicoutlook.org | VOLUME 19, NOVEMBER 2016

LIFTED Live:

Young talent rocks

St Patrick’s Cathedral

Photo: Alphonsus Fok

THE SHRINE OF THE HOLY

INNO CENTS AT KELLYVILLE

PROVIDED A WON DERFUL

SPACE FOR THE FAMILIES

WHO AT TENDED

THIS YEAR’S FAMILY

SUNDAY GATHERING.

page 3 page 21

A DECISION BY THE

CITY OF PARRAMATTA

TO BECOME A REFUGEE

WELCOME ZONE HAS BEEN

WELCOMED BY

LOCAL CHURCH AND

COMMUNITY GROUPS.


Dear friends,

Over the past couple of weeks, one

of the stories that made headlines

was the perks of politicians that many argue

fail the pub test. They say our MPs gain

from highly generous ‘entitlement’ schemes

including superannuation payments,

retirement benefits, Life Gold Passes, etc.

At the heart of this debate, they contend,

is not just the system needs fixing but also

the sense of entitlement that goes against our

deeply held Australian concept of “a fair go”.

We might resent such entitlements and

those who benefit from them. However,

there is another sense of entitlement that is

more innate, more subtle and more pervasive

in all of us.

This is the mentality that attributes our

successes and achievements to ourselves. It

leads us to claim credit for what we have and

it makes us less appreciative of the gratuity of

God’s grace. More importantly, this mentality

inclines us to be judgmental of those less

fortunate than we are and blame them for

their predicaments and failures.

The Word of God today exposes such a

mentality as fundamentally self-serving

and delusional. Jesus tells the parable of the

Pharisee and the tax collector in a way that

cuts through layers of human prejudices.

The Pharisee is often held up as an example

of moral uprightness. Yet through the prism

of Jesus, he is seen as self-serving and

delusional. The Pharisee is the person with

the ultimate sense of entitlement.

He attributes his moral superiority to

himself: “I thank you, God, that I am not

grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of

mankind.” He is totally blind to his self-made

and self-earned illusion.

As a result, he is unable to see that there is

a shared humanity between him and the tax

collector. He puts himself above the latter: “I

am not like this tax collector here.”

As far as Jesus is concerned, it is not

self-made righteousness but empathy

and compassion that truly matter. The

THE BISHOP'S DIARY – NOVEMBER 2016

2 7.30pm: Celebrates Solemn Holy Mass for All Souls

Day in St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta.

THE BISHOP'S HOMILY

Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv

3 Attends a meeting of the Bishops of the Province of

New South Wales.

4 7.30pm: Celebrates Holy Mass with RCIA and

Sacramental Teams from the Diocese at St Patrick’s

Cathedral, Parramatta.

6 Celebrates Holy Mass for Back to McAuley Day at

Catherine McAuley Westmead.

9 6pm: Attends a gathering of the Religious of the

Diocese, St Joseph’s Centre for Reflective Living,

Baulkham Hills.

10 Attends a meeting of the Australian Catholic Social

Justice Council, Justice, Ecology & Development.

11 3.30pm: Hosts a Thank You afternoon tea for World

Youth Day 2016 Leaders.

Homily for 30 th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, 23 October 2016

Pharisee fails the litmus test of authentic

discipleship because of his lack of empathy

and compassion.

The tax collector, on the other hand,

is praised because free from any sense of

entitlement, he is totally open to the gratuity

of God’s grace.

This is the hard message of the Gospel. It

disarms us because it takes away the security

that we rely on in terms of who we are, what

we have and the sense of worth that is linked

with our successes and achievements.

The parable of Jesus says that the Pharisee

is not more valued than the tax collector

because of the badge of honour he wears,

the status he has or the social prestige he is

entitled to.

It challenges the notion that we deserve

more than others because of what we have

inherited or earned: our talents, gifts,

contributions or our race, religion and other

accidents of birth. Jesus consistently tells us

that God does not see things the way we see

nor judge people the way we judge.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus,

the Good Samaritan or the 11 th hour worker

convey this same message: God looks upon

the humble who recognise the gratuity of his

love, rather than the proud who boasts about

his own record of achievements.

Brothers and sisters,

The Word of God thus challenges us about

our relationship with God and with one

another. If God refuses the proud and hears

the cry of the humble poor, we cannot but

identify ourselves with them.

We cannot be the disciples of Jesus and

think and act merely in terms of what we

are entitled to by virtue of our birthright or

conquest. None of us could be saved if God

applied the strict justice on the basis of our

merits and failings.

The parable is actually designed to prod

at our sense of entitlement and our claim

to what is ours at the exclusion of others. It

challenges us to think and act in the way that

God in Jesus has shown us, which is based

If God refuses the

proud and hears the

cry of the humble

poor, we cannot but

identify ourselves

with them.

on the justice of the kingdom and the very

mercy of God.

Pope Francis often comes into sharp

criticism even from Catholic circles because

of the way in which he lives out the message

of God’s gratuitous love and mercy. In an age

of trickled down economy and entitlement,

he challenges us to see and value people the

way Jesus taught and showed us.

His embrace of refugees, Muslims,

prisoners … is quite frankly confronting.

If tax collectors, Samaritans, lepers, etc …

were the beneficiaries of God’s unstinting

goodness, who are we to exclude the outcasts

of today?

If the socially marginalised, the ritually

unclean, the morally inferior, etc … found

favour in the company of Jesus, who are

we to judge as not entitled to what we are

entitled to?

Let us pray that like St Paul who turned

away from his self-made illusion after

his Damascus experience, we learn to be

humble, open and docile to God’s way. May

we learn to see the way God would see and

it is often from the bottom up or from the

vantage point of the outcast rather than from

a privileged position.

May our lives and prayers be led by a

humble spirit and acceptable to God. May

we grow in empathy and compassion after

Christ’s generous and loving heart.

13 8.30am: Celebrates Holy Mass for the 33 rd Sunday in

Ordinary Time with the Blessing of Our Lady of the

Nativity Church, Lawson; 6pm: Celebrates Holy Mass

of the 33 rd Sunday in Ordinary Time with the Closing

of the Holy Door for the Extraordinary Jubilee of

Mercy at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.

15 7pm: Confers the Sacrament of Confirmation at

St John the Evangelist Parish, Riverstone.

16 Attends Clergy Professional Standards Workshop.

17 Convenes a meeting of the College of Consultors.

21-25 Attends Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

26 Celebrates Holy Mass of the 1 st Sunday of Advent with

the Rite of Ordination to the Diaconate, St Thomas the

Apostle Parish, Blackburn, Victoria.

CONTENTS

THE BISHOP’S HOMILY...................... 2

LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY...........3, 8

SOCIAL JUSTICE............................ 4, 21

CATHOLIC YOUTH.............................. 5

NEWS & EVENTS.......................... 6, 23

DIOCESAN NEWS......................... 7, 18

CONFRATERNITY OF

CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE............... 9, 20

PARISH PROFILE......................... 10-11

DWF APPEAL............................... 12-13

CATHOLIC EDUCATION........... 14-16

INSTITUTE FOR MISSION...............17

OFFICE FOR WORSHIP....................19

YEAR OF MERCY................................22

CatholicOutlook

The official publication of the

Diocese of Parramatta

Publisher:

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

Editor:

Jane Favotto

Tel (02) 8838 3409

comms@parra.catholic.org.au

PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750

Journalist:

Jordan Grantham

Designers:

Chris Murray

Stephen Poleweski

School news:

Catholic Education Office

Tel (02) 9840 5609

news@parra.catholic.edu.au

Deadlines:

Editorial and advertising

– 10 th of the month prior to publication

Advertising:

Tel (02) 8838 3409

comms@parra.catholic.org.au

Accounts:

Alfie Ramirez

Tel (02) 8838 3437

ARamirez@parra.catholic.org.au

Printing:

Rural Press Printing, North Richmond

40,500 copies of Catholic Outlook

are distributed monthly through 47

parishes and 86 schools. All material

in this publication is copyright and

may not be reproduced without

permission of the editor. Catholic

Outlook is a member of the Australasian

Catholic Press Association.

2 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY

2016 DIOCESAN FAMILY SUNDAY

‘Family: An Oasis of Mercy’

From the Life, Marriage & Family Office

THE SHRINE OF THE Holy Innocents

at Kellyville provided a wonderful

space for the families who attended

this year’s Family Sunday gathering

to explore the theme of ‘Family: An Oasis

of Mercy’.

With the aid of a Pilgrim Family Prima,

each family could prepare to walk through

the Holy Door at the shrine at the conclusion

of the event and gain a plenary indulgence

for the Year of Mercy. To aid this preparation,

programs for children and adults were run

in parallel.

With the sound of babies crying in

the background, Dr Jim and Genevieve

McCaughan spoke to a packed room of

parents about their experience in raising

11 children and how their family reaches out

to the broader community.

Following afternoon tea, Bishop Vincent

Long OFM Conv gave an address on the

relevance of the Year of Mercy and how this

relates to families. Sr Antonine from the

Missionaries of Charity also spoke about the

charism of St Teresa of Kolkata and shared

some insights into how this can be lived out

in family life.

The children’s program provided the

opportunity for children to really delve

into the works of mercy, exploring how

they may be enacted within the context of

the family and beyond, with the help of our

generous volunteers.

A number of Missionaries of Charity

taught the children about the love of God,

and the resulting acts of charity and mercy

that flow forth from this to our neighbour.

With the sisters in their white and blue,

and the Franciscan friars in their grey, the

children were able to see a beautiful witness

of religious life – undoubtedly one that may

inspire future vocations!

Family Sunday was an opportunity for families in the Diocese of Parramatta to come together to share their faith.

Photos: Art in Images.

Bishop Vincent spoke to the children

about the Jubilee Year of Mercy, about

their families, and on a personal note his

own experience of family life, growing up

and as a refugee.

At the conclusion to the event, the

children helped prepare the crowd for

their passage through the Holy Door

by singing, in three-part harmony, the

beautiful Latin hymn Ubi caritas et amor,

Deus ibi est (Where there is charity and

love, there God is).

With this contemplative beginning,

families proceeded to walk through the

door, greet Our Lord in the tabernacle

and venerate the Mercy Cross and Relics

of St Teresa of Kolkata and our diocesan

patron, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – a

wonderful opportunity as the Year of Mercy

draws to its close.

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NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 3


SOCIAL JUSTICE

Bishop Vincent launches A Place at the Table

By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA

Social Justice Director

SOCIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY ON 25

September saw a most significant and

meaningful launch of this year’s Australian

Catholic Bishops Social Justice Statement

at Sacred Heart Parish, Blackheath.

A Eucharistic celebration began our

morning with the celebrants being Bishop

Vincent Long OFM Conv and Parish Priest

Fr Bob Sheridan. Our Eucharist began

with a prayerful PowerPoint reflection. We

then invited Don (as the representative

for our senior community members) and

Chantelle (as the voice of the young) to

read the prayer for Social Justice Sunday, A

Prayer for All Ages.

Communion reflection was an inspiring

social justice hymn written and sung by Pat

Drummond and supported by the rest of the

music ministry team.

We then gathered in the parish hall to

launch and break open the social justice

statement, beginning with a reflection and

challenge from Pope Francis.

“There was a father, mother and their

many children, and a grandfather lived with

them. He was quite old, and when he was at

table eating soup, he would get everything

dirty: his mouth, the serviette … it was not

a pretty sight!

“One day the father said that, given what

was happening to the grandfather, from

that day forward he would eat alone. And

so he bought a little table, and placed it in

the kitchen. And so the grandfather ate

alone in the kitchen while the family ate in

the dining room.

“After some days, the father returned home

from work and found one of his children

playing with wood. He asked him, ‘What

are you doing?’ to which the child replied,

‘I am playing carpenter’. ‘And what are you

building?’ the father asked. ‘A table for you

papa, for when you get old like grandpa’.

“This story has stayed with me for a lifetime

and done me great good. Grandparents are a

treasure.” (Pope Francis)

After being welcomed by David Buckley,

chair of the Parish Council, Bishop Vincent

launched the statement.

“At this time in Australia, we face a

threefold challenge: to work for an inclusive

society that brings older people into the

heart of the community; to ensure the

dignity and care of people who are frail and

most vulnerable to neglect or abuse; and

to foster solidarity among all generations,

recognising the special affinity that exists

between young and old.

“We must never forget that the older person

before us is a spouse, a parent, a brother or

sister, a friend and, most importantly, a son

or daughter of God. All of us are called to

have our rightful place at the table.”

The faith community of Sacred Heart Parish at Blackheath hosted the launch of the 2016-17 Social Justice Statement.

Photos: Art in Images.

Bishop Vincent as chair of the Australian

Catholic Social Justice Council spoke of

his concern for all areas of Social Justice

and the impact of his recent meeting with

Pope Francis.

Monica Bright then spoke of a local parish

response to A Place at the Table within the

context of parish community. The care and

concern of this inclusive faith community

flowed through all of their preparation,

including the beautiful sacred space

prepared in the hall.

Trace, Irene and Val from Blacktown

Neighbour Aid then spoke of the

CatholicCare program in the Blacktown

LGA to encourage and support inclusion

and social contact for seniors within

the community.

It was inspiring to hear of the energy,

joy and vibrancy for life that this program

was bringing to people and the support

it was providing them in remaining

connected and socially engaged within

the wider community.

Before we concluded with some final

words of recommendation from Fr Bob

Sheridan PP, we gathered in small groups to

reflect on what we had shared, and to take

up the challenge of the Ten Step action leaflet

that accompanies the statement.

Led by the ACU Strathfield Student Choir

MONDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2016

6pm, followed by light refreshments

Barron Memorial Chapel

ACU Strathfield Campus, 25A Barker Rd, Strathfield

For further information contact 02 9701 4223 or email:

AVC.NSW-ACT@acu.edu.au

4 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


CatholicYouthParra @cyp_parramatta @CatholicYouthParra

CATHOLIC YOUTH

LIFTED Live in the Forecourt

Young talent rocks

St Patrick’s Cathedral

By James Camden,

CYP Director

THE SKIES CLEARED, the clouds

lifted, and the energy soared as 450

young people from across the Diocese

of Parramatta descended on the forecourt

of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta

on 22 October to celebrate the Feast Day of

St John Paul II.

LIFTED Live in the Forecourt is a

celebration of the talent exhibited by young

people in Western Sydney and the Blue

Mountains and was the last of Catholic

Youth Parramatta’s large-scale evangelisation

events for the year; an evolution of last year’s

highly successful Diocese Youth Rally.

As the sun set over the precinct, the

Cathedral stairs were transformed into a

spectacular stage for youth bands from

the parishes of Greystanes, Marayong,

Blacktown and Quakers Hill who performed

short sets of popular music to the impressive

crowd that had gathered.

This year the event increased its capacity

with the construction of an acoustic

forecourt stage that allowed smaller acts to

play in between the more significant parts of

the program.

This stage hosted more intimate

performances from Andrew Gorkic and

Sarah Agbulos who are World Youth

Day pilgrims from St John XXIII Parish,

Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens, Glen

Lumanta who is a graduate of Patrician

Brothers’ College Blacktown and now a

professional singer/songwriter, as well

as special guest Emma Fradd from NET

Ministries Australia.

LIFTED Live is now a key strategy of

CYP in drawing young people into a safe,

welcoming, and affirming environment that

mirrors the positive ingredients of popular

culture, yet showcases the gifts of identifying

with the young Church of Western Sydney

and the Blue Mountains.

Countless priests, religious, and youth

leaders of the Diocese were present to

LIFTED Live in the Forecourt is a celebration of the talent exhibited by our young people. Photos: Alphonsus Fok.

connect with those searching for inclusion

in all that the Diocese has to offer in the

broader mission of the Church.

A new addition to the LIFTED Live

concept was the further development of the

Diocesan Dance Crew – a new group that

invites talented dancers to come together,

choreograph and perform at the event. The

crew was outstanding and within minutes

had the crowd dancing.

The event celebrated many things – the

return of pilgrims from WYD 2016 in

Krakow, the feast day of St John Paul II,

the 30 th anniversary of the Diocese, and

the continued growth and popularity of

LIFTED Live.

However, nothing could beat welcoming

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv to a

youth gathering for the first time and

hearing him share his vision for the

Church’s local mission.

LIFTED Live nights now complement

CYP’s range of other programs designed

for training and forming youth leaders in

schools and parishes.

To contact CYP tel (02) 8838 3428,

JCamden@parra.catholic.org.au

To view a gallery of photos from LIFTED

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

parracatholic/albums

Join CYP on https://www.facebook.

com/catholicyouthparra/

Proud photography partner of Catholic Outlook

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NEWS & EVENTS

Sharing God’s message through music

By Jordan Grantham

HOMELESS AND DESPERATE,

Francis Muyeeka thought his life

had no meaning. Expelled from

school and disconnected from separated

parents, the mean streets of Uganda were a

harsh reality. “I thought I wouldn’t make it

through,” Francis said.

Now Francis is a 26-year-old man,

confident in himself and the faith. He

performs vibrant Christian music, in the

style of soulful pop.

For most of this year he toured Australia,

giving musical support to the Australiawide

team of the National Evangelisation

Team ministries.

NET ministries is a group of young

Catholics who speak at schools, youth

groups and facilitate prayer across many

cities in Australia. Six NET teams are

stationed around Australian cities.

Francis was on the Uganda-wide NET

team for two years, which transformed

his life. It taught him elementary

worship music, public speaking and

leadership skills.

Since then, Francis’ life mission is to share

God’s message using music.

“It has the unique capability to link

the natural to the super-natural, and

the spiritual to the physical. Music can

heal your emotions without you even

noticing it.”

Music is a tool of God, which Francis has

witnessed “stabilising the shaken, restoring

the fallen and keeping all as one in faith

and love”.

His positive message is more than a ‘feelgood’

mantra. He brings a serious message

that grapples with suffering and sin.

“If we don’t exercise this tool, the enemy

will and already is using it to promote sin,”

he said. “As we evangelise, the principalities

that Ephesians 6:10 talks about are also

evangelising, and we cannot let them take

the most effective means from us, music!”

Francis said music has helped him grow

in holiness. “Worship music specifically has

helped me overcome depression, anger, and

habitual sin,” he said.

“What seemed an addiction turned

into a testimony! I found myself thinking

about God instead of sin, I like to call

that ‘victory’!”

Francis’ prayerfulness has grown in

adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, thanks

to worship music. “It’s always good to be

quiet before Jesus in prayer but personally,

music has always been that thing that sets

a foundation for me to build on during

adoration when the silence comes in.”

Francis Muyeeka: “Music can heal your emotions without you even noticing it.”

St Augustine of Hippo’s dictum that “he

who sings well prays twice” inspires him.

Music has assisted Francis with

maintaining prayerfulness.

“Listening to worship has given me

an opportunity to keep my dial at the

‘heavenly frequency’ all the time and that

is what we as Christians should be striving

for; constant communion with our Messiah

and the Holy Spirit.”

Under Francis’ leadership, a group of

friends in Uganda started a music unit, New

Era Inspirations (NEI). It compiled a music

album and produces videos.

NEI has continued to grow with programs

that encourage young people to gather

and strengthen each other’s faith weekly,

conducting charitable works and running

worship ministries.

“The three years I have done with NET

have been instrumental towards the vision

God planted in me, and my heart overflows

with gratitude to every party responsible

and, of course, God above all,” Francis said.

“I would greatly encourage every young

person who wants to grow into the best

version of themselves to do NET.”

To watch a music video produced by Francis,

visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/

UCxAecPiU4ETPYWDnh8P1nQg

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6 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


DIOCESAN NEWS

New Blacktown centre brings ministries together

By Jordan Grantham

THE DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA

Ministry Centre was officially opened

and blessed last month by Bishop

Vincent Long OFM Conv.

The new centre brings together five

diocesan ministries: Office for Worship,

Catholic Youth Parramatta, Life, Marriage

& Family Office, Social Justice Office, and

Pastoral Planning Office.

Bringing the ministries together helps

them achieve their complementary missions,

which facilitate the “spiritual, pastoral and

social services of our young and growing

Diocese,” Bishop Vincent said.

The ministries have overlapping relevance

to different stages of the Catholic life.

From protecting unborn life and Baptism,

becoming a Catholic youth and getting

involved in social justice activities, to the

Sacrament of Marriage, starting a family

and contributing to the pastoral life of

parishes, and preparation and participation

in the sacraments.

On 6 October, about 50 people gathered to

join in a Liturgy of the Word and Blessing at

the centre, which is located in Mary, Queen

of the Family Parish.

In his address, Bishop Vincent

acknowledged the work of his predecessors

and promised to build on their legacy and

to make the Diocese of Parramatta into an

“oasis of mercy”.

Diocesan Chief of Operations &

Finance, Geoff Officer, acknowledged the

work of many people in establishing the

ministry centre, including Very Rev Peter

Williams VG EV, Joe Cashman, Director of

CatholicCare Social Services Parramatta,

and Amy Donohue, Special Projects Officer.

Bishop Vincent’s address pointed to

Christ’s love and service as the source of the

Church’s strength.

“The Scriptures tell us that the strength

of the Church is ultimately measured by its

commitment to Christ-like love and service.”

Referring to the first letter of Peter, Bishop

Vincent said: “Peter likens the believers to

living stones making a spiritual house. They

are to learn from the example of Christ –

the stone rejected by the builders that has

proved to be the keystone.”

Bishop Vincent broke down the mission

of salvation through the Church to the most

essential qualities of Christian life. “In other

words, it is through their enduring love and

discipleship that the vitality of the Church is

manifested,” he said.

The Diocesan Ministry Centre is located

at 51-59 Allawah Street, Blacktown,

tel (02) 8838 3460, ministryreception@

parra.catholic.org.au

Bishop Vincent with

members of the ministry

teams in the new Diocesan

Ministry Centre. Photo:

Adrian Middeldorp.

NEW APPOINTMENTS

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv has

confirmed the following appointments:

Rev Fr Florito Apalias

Assistant Priest

St Thomas Aquinas Parish, Springwood, and

Our Lady of the Way Parish, Lawson

Commencing 19 November

Rev Fr George Azhakath MSFS

Assistant Priest

St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta

Commencing 19 November

Rev Fr Bollar Santana Barreto OFM Cap

Assistant Priest

The Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton

Effective 29 September

Rev Fr John Paul Escarlan

Assistant Priest

Parish of Richmond

Commencing 19 November

Gregory Lazarus

Director Social Services

CatholicCare Social Services

Commencing 14 November 2016

Zenda Arkwright

Director Business Services

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www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 7


LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY

Fight the good fight for marriage but

don’t forget those in the field hospital

By Ben Smith

Director of the Life,

Marriage & Family Office

ON 1 OCTOBER, POPE FRANCIS

declared in a meeting with priests,

religious, seminarians and pastoral

workers in Georgia that, “Marriage is the

most beautiful thing that God has created.”

However he went on to observe that, “Today

there is a world war to destroy marriage.”

According to Pope Francis, this war is

taking the form of “ideological colonisations

which destroy, not with weapons, but with

ideas.” His comments were aimed at gender

ideology that is creeping into schools,

workplaces, unions and parliaments all

over the western world with significant

negative consequences.

Gender ideology “denies the difference

and reciprocity in nature of a man and a

woman and envisages a society without

sexual differences, thereby eliminating the

anthropological basis of the family.” (Amoris

Laetitia, 56)

Furthermore, “this ideology leads to

educational programs and legislative

enactments that promote a personal identity

and emotional intimacy radically separated

from the biological difference between male

and female. Consequently, human identity

becomes the choice of the individual, one

which can also change over time.” (Amoris

Laetitia, 56)

In the context of Australia, the Safe

Schools Coalition program, that has received

considerable media coverage in the past 12

months, promotes gender ideology in more

than 500 state schools across the country.

In terms of legislation, marriage equality

advocates have promoted gender ideology

by embracing a vision of marriage that

involves a partnership between two people

irrespective of their “sex, sexual orientation,

gender identity or intersex status” in a

number of private members’ bills that have

been introduced into Federal Parliament in

the past two years.

Pope Francis warns of the danger of gender

ideology when he states that, “Let us not fall

into the sin of trying to replace the Creator.

We are creatures, and not omnipotent.”

(Amoris Laetitia, 56)

These are strong words from Pope Francis.

Some people may find it hard to reconcile

these words with his promotion of mercy

and forgiveness for those on the margins.

He was asked a question by a journalist on

this issue during his flight from Azerbaijan

to Rome on 2 October. His response pointed

out that, “In my life as a priest, as a bishop

– and also as Pope – I have accompanied

many people with homosexual tendencies

and also homosexual activity. I have

accompanied them, I have brought them

closer to the Lord; some cannot do it, but

I have always accompanied them and never

abandoned anyone.”

His response also highlighted how he

was accompanying a transgender man who

recently married a woman.

It seems on the surface that Pope Francis

is being hypocritical by saying one thing

and doing another. But a deeper reading of

the matter leads to a different conclusion. In

Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis cited a quote

from a speech given by Martin Luther King

that states, “When you rise to the level of

love, of its great beauty and power, you seek

only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who

happen to be caught up in that system, you

love, but you seek to defeat the system.”

(Amoris Laetitia, 118)

So “as Christians, we can hardly stop

advocating marriage simply to avoid

countering contemporary sensibilities, or

out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of

helplessness in the face of human and moral

failings. We would be depriving the world of

values that we can and must offer.” (Amoris

Laetitia, 35)

But at the same time we are called to reach

out in love to all members of our human

family, including those who are experiencing

gender confusion or same-sex attraction,

to accompany each other on our journey

towards the Lord.

To contact the Life, Marriage & Family

Office, Parramatta tel (02) 8838 3441 or send

an email to lmf@parra.catholic.org.au

HOSTED BY LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY OFFICE, DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA

Waiting for Gabriel

Diocesan Development Fund

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

Supporting the

growing needs of the

institutions and agencies within

the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta

www.parra.catholic.org.au/ddf

Seminar for couples hoping to conceive

Sunday 20th November, 2016

1:30pm-4:00pm

The Parramatta Institute for Mission (IFM)

1-5 Marion St, Blacktown, NSW

Couples will have the opportunity to hear from

trained professionals on the different methods of

Natural Fertility Awareness.

These include:

• The Sympto Thermal Method

• The Billings Ovulation Method ®

• The Creighton Model FertilityCare System

used in conjunction with

• NaPro Technology (Natural Procreative Technology)

Featuring guest speaker,

Dr Van Nguyen

The afternoon will also include guest couples’

testimonies, and a visit from Parramatta’s

Bishop Vincent Long.

Afternoon Tea will be catered.

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.

To reserve your place, please RSVP

to lmf@parra.catholic.org.au

or 8838 3441

For more information about the speakers,

please see website www.parralmf.org.au

8 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE

Celebration day of young teachers of the faith

By Jordan Grantham

SECONDARY STUDENTS WHO

volunteer as Special Religious Educators

(SREs) in state primary

schools gathered at Bede Polding College,

South Windsor, for a day of fun, faith and

formation to celebrate their contribution

to faith education.

Eighty students from five Catholic schools

attended the first celebration day to receive

inspiration and encouragement. In the

workshops, students learned from common

experiences and shared their growth over

the course of the program.

Many reported increased confidence and

expressed what an honour it had been to

support the primary school students.

The day was a collaboration of the

Confraternity for Christian Doctrine

(CCD), Catholic Education Diocese

of Parramatta and Catholic Youth

Parramatta. It combined presentations

and group workshops.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

congratulated the students and commented

on the uniqueness of the program, which

was the first of its kind in Australia.

The program commenced 15 years ago

in Caroline Chisholm College, Glenmore

Park, and now has spread to 19 colleges in

the Diocese.

Bishop Vincent empathised with the

courage of students to share and teach the

faith and encouraged them to persevere.

“We can only be a better person when

we are prepared to launch into the deep,”

Bishop Vincent said.

Cecilia Zammit is the Director of the

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. “Being

involved in Scripture lessons, the high school

students reflect on their own faith and the

younger students seem to engage easily with

the older students,” Cecilia said.

“The positive attitude of the SREs can help

state school staff understand the benefit and

purpose of religious education in schools.”

The story of the Good Shepherd is a

favourite among small children and Bede

Polding College, South Windsor, was the

perfect venue with its agricultural program

and several sheep grazing on the site!

Eighty students from five Catholic schools attended the first celebration day to receive inspiration

and encouragement.

Bishop Vincent congratulated the students and commented on the uniqueness of the program.

Photos: Jordan Grantham.

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www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 9


PARISH PROFILE

One big holy family at

Mount Druitt Parish

By Jordan Grantham

HOLY FAMILY PARISH, Mount

Druitt, lives up to its name. Indigenous,

Tongan, Samoan, Filipino

and Caucasian families build up this harmonious

and generous community. The

people are passionate about the truth of the

Catholic faith.

The beauty of the faith is expressed when

the choirs praise the living God in their

church. The annual re-enactment of the

Good Friday Way of the Cross gathers more

than 1000 parishioners, many of whom

participate as characters.

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ is the Parish Priest.

A former pathology chemist, he recognises

the elements that make Holy Family a rare

concoction: “The people are incredibly

generous with their time and energy.”

Part of the mix is a vibrant musical

tradition: “There is a Tongan choir, a

Samoan choir, a Filipino choir and also a

mixed choir.”

The parish community works to help all

in need. Ignite Food Store is the parish’s

cooperative food pantry. It is almost a fullsized

supermarket.

Friendly volunteers keep the operation

The parish grounds include an extensive native plant garden.

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Serving the

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since 1967

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well oiled. There is a café and clothing shop.

Hospitality training occurs at the café,

creating new professional skills, increased

self-esteem and employment opportunities.

Fr Gregory jokes that it is also handy when

you run out of milk.

Harris Farm, IGA and other suppliers

generously donate many of the items,

some of which are given away for free.

Customers purchase (or are given) a

voucher that entitles them to a number

of items worth approximately double the

price of the voucher.

Don Mulholland runs the Men’s Shed. He

is a Gurindji man and dedicated to suicide

prevention. The Men’s Shed is designed to

welcome Indigenous men, who are more

concentrated in the Mount Druitt area than

anywhere else in urban NSW.

A 40ft didgeridoo stands near the

entrance. Indigenous designs, plants and a

boomerang-shaped path present a strong

sense of identity.

Laid-back BBQs run up the side of the shed,

facilitating the regular Wednesday lunch

gatherings. Service providers visit the men

at the Shed, where they are comfortable, to

offer legal, medical and financial assistance.

The benefits are innumerable, Don said.

Rebecca Pincott Michael Bolton

Don Mulholland from the Men’s Shed with Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ. Photos: Jordan Grantham.

The most common outcome is “saving them

from prison and, most importantly, getting

their health back,” he explained.

The Men’s Shed “offers an opportunity to

provide assistance to men in need. There are

a lot of men around that have health issues

– such as mental health, suicide prevention

… and everyday help with food vouchers,

electricity, relationships, gambling, drug and

alcohol,” Don said.

Holy Family Primary School is a key part

of the community. It opened in 2004 and

now caters for Kindergarten to Year 6. Holy

Family emphasises events like Father’s Day

and Mother’s Day to support and recognise

the importance of family.

Loyola College is the local senior secondary

school and forms part of the Jesuit network

of schools, providing formation inspired by

St Ignatius of Loyola.

The Jesuit connection is important to

the parish, with a community of 10 Jesuits

(three working in the parish and schools, a

Spanish chaplain working in Fairfield, the

Novice Master with four novices, and one

retired Spanish chaplain). The Jesuit novices

also serve in the parish during their first two

years of formation.

Holy Family has become part of the Jesuit

family, twinned with Our Lady of the Way

Parish, North Sydney, also in the pastoral

care of the Jesuits.

In the spirit of solidarity, students from

St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, and Loreto

Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy

Penrose Park

Fatima Day: Sunday 13 November

A day of prayer with Rev Janusz Pawlicha OSPPE.

Come and pray with us in this month of the Holy Souls!

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

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Principal Celebrant:

Monthly Divine Mercy Sunday

6 November

11am: Solemn Mass followed by Devotions

including Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Kirribilli volunteer in the parish community

as part of their immersion experiences.

Whether they are reading or playing

games in the pre-school and primary school,

or helping in the Store or Op-Shop, or other

parish activities, the idea is to give them their

own experience of people living in Mt Druitt.

This has the effect of restoring a more

balanced view of the struggles of poverty,

and the normal lives that people live in both

Eastern and Western Sydney.

Despite the hardships, against the odds,

the Church perseveres to provide for her

spiritual children, as one family, especially at

Holy Family.

5 facts about the

Society of Jesus

• 35 moon craters are named after Jesuit

scientists.

• The Jesuits educated former Prime

Minister Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce,

Joe Hockey, Christopher Pyne and Bill

Shorten.

• Descartes, Voltaire, Moliere, Castro,

Joyce and Hitchcock also benefitted

from a Jesuit education.

• The Holy See suppressed the Jesuits

from 1773 to 1814.

• Jesuit linguists wrote the first

grammars for many African, Asian and

American indigenous languages.

Rev Janusz Pawlicha OSPPE

Fatima Family Sunday

20 November

11am: Holy Mass with Renewal of

Wedding Vows, followed by Devotions.

Upcoming celebrations in Our Shrine

Friday 11 November: St Martin of Tours.

11am Holy Mass followed by Exposition and Benediction.

Pauline Fathers’ Monastery

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

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Website: www.penrosepark.com.au

10 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


PARISH PROFILE

Fr Greg Jacobs SJ: a servant to the queen of the sciences

By Jordan Grantham

FATHER GREGORY JACOBS SJ is a

kind-hearted and enthusiastic priest.

A library of books and many degrees

line the walls of his office. Years of learning

are worn lightly, as he makes guests feel welcome

at the parish office at Holy Family Parish,

Mount Druitt.

Science, religion and the environment

are his key interests. Fr Greg introduced

the topic to the parish. This interest “is

something I want to engage people with,

maybe not as passionately as I am!” Other

strong passions include sacred music,

serving the poor and the Collingwood

Magpies AFL team.

Mount Druitt is a far cry from the

University of Edinburgh, where Fr Greg

completed a Master of Science, on Science

and Theology. The connection is greater

than many assume. Theology was known

in the Middle Ages as the ‘Queen of the

Sciences’, in the sense that a science is a

field of knowledge.

He has been in the parish for two years

and his down-to-earth demeanour endears

him to the local community. Mount Druitt

can be a difficult assignment; previous

parish priests have been assaulted inside

the presbytery.

Fr Greg’s Jesuit identity grounds his

vocation, wherever it takes him. The

possibility of joining the Society of Jesus

emerged while he was working in a hospital

pathology lab.

“This was a way to combine those

two great loves – science and religion,”

Fr Greg explained. The Jesuit order is

renowned for intellectual firepower and

a fundamental contribution to many

scholarly fields, including astronomy,

geography and mathematics.

His love of science grew from his first

degree, on chemistry. He then worked

in a hospital pathology laboratory. The

chemistry enthusiasm persists; a complex

molecular model sits on Fr Greg’s coffee

table. ‘cis-Rose oxide’ from the scent of a

rose, was assembled from a ‘Molecule of the

Week’ email list he receives.

The Jacobs family has Dutch Catholic

roots, coming from the town of Tegelen.

The town has a large passion play,

recreating Our Lord’s crucifixion. The

family has supported the play, with Fr

Greg’s Grandmother playing the Blessed

Virgin Mary in the first production.

In 2008, Dutch relatives flew in for Fr

Greg’s ordination at Sacred Heart Church,

Kooringal, in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga.

The family was based in Wagga Wagga for

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ with an image of St Ignatius and ‘cis-Rose Oxide’. Photo: Jordan Grantham.

much of Fr Greg’s childhood and culturally

aligned to Melbourne, hence the barracking

for Collingwood.

As an Air Force family, they had previously

been stationed in Malaysia, Richmond and

Melbourne. The family was living in Ballarat,

where Fr Greg – and his identical twin

brother Chris – were born the day after their

father entered the RAAF.

The itinerant childhood prepared him

well for the priesthood, as St Ignatius,

founder of the Jesuits, said, “a Jesuit is

a man with one foot in the air” and the

Now

enrolling

for 2018

Jesuits are affectionately known as the

‘SAS’ of the priesthood.

Sacred music also inspires Fr Greg’s

faith. Back in Melbourne, he joined the St

Francis Church Choir, whose repertoire

includes sacred masters such as Palestrina

and Vittoria.

Who Did You See? by Australian Jesuit

composer Christopher Wilcock is one of Fr

Greg’s favourite pieces.

Holy Family’s four choirs inspire Fr Greg,

as they express the cultural breadth of the

parish, united in worship.

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www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 11


–Share your Christmas joy and donate today! www.faithatwork.org.au

Seeing God’s voice

By Jordan Grantham

FINDING SILENCE TO HEAR God’s

voice can be difficult in these busy,

connected times but the deaf Catholic

community in Seven Hills regularly ‘sees’

God’s voice in a quiet signed Mass, each

third Sunday of the month at Our Lady of

Lourdes Parish.

The Ephpheta Catholic Centre for Deaf

& Hard of Hearing People – based in

Punchbowl – provides the Sunday Mass at

rotating locations across Sydney and the

Central Coast. It also offers pastoral care

and support for deaf people throughout the

greater Sydney area.

‘Ephpheta’, “be opened”, is from the sacred

Aramaic language, spoken by Christ when

he cured a deaf man in St Mark’s Gospel.

Fr Michael Lanzon is Chaplain to the

Ephpheta Centre and shares the duty of

providing the deaf Mass at Our Lady of

Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills, with Fr John

Paul Escarlan.

They use Auslan, Australian sign language,

to communicate the words of the Mass. “I’m

still working on improving my Auslan,” Fr

Lanzon admits.

The Masses also use professional Auslan

interpreters, which means the Mass is quite

elaborate, being said in two languages at the

same time. At Mass the readings are led by

deaf people in Auslan.

“It is quite different to what you would

experience. When deaf people attend this

Mass, they remain seated the whole time to

maintain a line of sight. We also normally

have a PowerPoint so that the Mass is

accessible to everyone.”

The Vatican released guidelines for the

pastoral care of deaf people in 2009. The

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

implemented recommendations from

the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral

Workers, providing liturgical, catechetical,

social and employment support, dedicated

to the deaf.

Fr John Paul Escarlan started his

involvement with the deaf chaplaincy

in 2009, at the Diocese of Parramatta’s

Seminary of the Holy Spirit.

“One of the readers at my ordination to the

priesthood was from the deaf community

and there was a voiceover translation of the

Auslan signing,” he said.

This pastoral connection to the seminary

continues today with Shinto Francis, a

current seminarian.

Daina Caruana from the Ephpheta Centre signs during Mass. Photo: Alfred Boudib.

The Catholic Church has for many years

had a long and proud tradition of support for

the deaf community. The centre’s previous

Director, Stephen Lawlor, was the first deaf

leader of a Catholic deaf facility in the world.

Nicole Clark is the Interpreter and

Consultant for the staff and community

at the Ephpheta Centre. She said Stephen’s

appointment “was a very overt way that

Cardinal Pell recognised the importance of

self-determination for the deaf community.”

“We have a rich Catholic heritage from

Ireland, through the Dominican Sisters from

Cabra. Many signs in our Masses come from

the Irish sign language.”

Folklore holds that the Cabra deaf school

started when a bishop’s sister had a deaf

child. The mother was considering sending

the child to the only available school for the

deaf – a Protestant institution. “‘We won’t be

having any of that!’ was the bishop’s hearty

response,” Nicole said. The rest is history.

You can learn more about the work of the

Ephpheta Centre at www.ephpheta.org.au

Your donations to this month’s Diocesan

Works Fund Appeal will help to support

the work of the Ephpheta Centre. Appeal

envelopes are available from your parish

or you can make an online donation at:

www.faithatwork.org.au.

BUILDING SERVICES LOCALLY TO MAKE A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES

$49 $24 $10 $__

$49 can help provide

financial or family

counselling

$24 can help provide

refugees educational

supplies for English courses

$10 can help provide

equipment and uniforms for

employment courses.

Your support will go a long

way in providing counselors

and case workers to our

disadvantaged across

Western Sydney and the

Blue Mountains

Please give generously today and support our social services

CatholicCare Social Services:

Choices (employment) | Blacktown Neighbour Aid | Financial Counselling | Relationship and Family Counselling | Solo Parents Ministry

Houses to Homes and Project Elizabeth | Mamre, Refugee Education (English Course)

Ephpheta Centre (for deaf and hard of hearing people):

Community Visits | Education Programs | Marriage Services | Funeral Services | Volunteering

You can donate using the DWF Appeal envelope or donate online at parracatholic.org/dwf

12 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


– Please give generously and provide hope to someone this Christmas www.faithatwork.org.au

Blacktown Neighbour Aid lends a helping hand

BLACKTOWN NEIGHBOUR AID is a

service of CatholicCare Social Services

in the Diocese of Parramatta that assists

frail aged people, people with a disability

and their carers who are living within the

Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA).

The service is primarily directed towards

meeting a need for social contact and/

or a companion to assist participation in

community life.

Blacktown Neighbour Aid provides a

community-based service to consumers and

carers, which assists them to remain living

independently in their own homes.

The service is provided Monday to Friday

during normal business hours. We employ a

social support worker initially to establish a

routine that meets individual needs.

A trained volunteer is then allocated, on a

one-to-one basis, to visit for up to two hours

per week at a time that suits the personal

needs of consumers and carers.

Anyone can refer a person to Blacktown

Neighbour Aid. Referrals may be made

by a family member, relative, a friend

or neighbour, community group, health

professional, or consumers can self-refer.

We endeavour to support and

complement other services, including

family and friends, by providing a social

Dedicated volunteers provide companionship and assistance.

support worker or trained volunteer who

offers practical assistance, social support

and companionship.

Services include:

• Friendly home visits;

• Assistance with filling out forms, writing

and posting mail;

• Reading;

• Assistance with banking & paying bills;

• Phone support;

• Support to attend a social activity;

• Transport and assistance to shopping (fees

apply); and

• Transport and accompany to medical

appointments within Blacktown LGA

(fees apply).

Blacktown Neighbour Aid needs

volunteers to assist our frail aged, people with

a disability and their carers. The requirement

is a couple of hours of your time, either

weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Volunteers receive training, supervision

and support, and reimbursement of travel

and out-of-pocket expenses. There is

the opportunity to socialise and enjoy

engaging with consumers and a team of

like-minded people.

To find out more about becoming

a volunteer, contact CatholicCare tel

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

Recover Wellbeing tackling mental distress

Mamre House was originally part of Rev Samuel Marsden’s South Creek farm.

Mamre programs for migrants and refugees

MAMRE HOUSE AND FARM is set on

an 85ha property at Orchard Hills. It was

originally part of Rev Samuel Marsden’s

South Creek farm established in 1804.

Mamre House was the working farmhouse

of a busy rural property, a model farm

that included orchards, exotic pasture and

other crops.

For the past 30 years, the focus has

been on social justice and bringing the

community together. CatholicCare Social

Services took over the operation of Mamre

Farm from the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta

in 2014.

CatholicCare has developed innovative

approaches that improve individual

and community wellbeing. Mamre

operates programs for migrants,

volunteers and refugees.

CATHOLICCARE SOCIAL SERVIC-

ES in the Diocese of Parramatta has

a team of highly skilled and dedicated

people who work in its Houses to Homes

program. This service for pregnant girls or

parenting young women who are homeless

or at risk of homelessness offers:

• Transitional semi-independent housing;

• Referral pathways towards long-term

stable housing solutions;

• Case management support;

• Access to brokerage;

• Home visits to young mothers and

their babies;

• Empowerment for independent living;

• Access to parenting and living skills,

employment and education;

Mamre Farm plots are provided to refugee

families or larger community groups for a

nominal fee. It is an opportunity for families

to cultivate the produce they grew up with,

to learn about Western produce and to

start a conversation with people they have

not met before.

Mamre’s Refugee Program offers a caring

and supportive community environment

where lessons are structured around

students’ needs. English classes cater for all

levels of English and Australian citizenship

classes are offered.

A creche accommodates the childcare

needs of parents while they are studying.

Pastoral care is available to families, as well

as financial counselling.

For more information about Mamre’s

programs contact CatholicCare

(02) 8822 2222.

Houses to Homes support for young mums

• Advocacy, support and referral; and

• Assistance in accessing community

resources.

The demand for this service is constant.

Vulnerable members of our community are

afforded the opportunity that many of us

take for granted.

Louise Masters heads the team: “All

babies and children have the right to lead

a healthy and fulfilling life with safe and

secure housing and early intervention,”

Louise said. “We are committed to

providing the best service possible so this

can be achieved.”

For more information about Houses

to Homes contact CatholicCare tel

(02) 8822 2222.

CATHOLICCARE SOCIAL SERVICES

runs Recover Wellbeing in the Diocese

of Parramatta. It is a unique program

offering practical recovery-oriented

education and support to people living

with mental distress.

Recover Wellbeing providing pathways

to positive mental wellbeing through a

combination of education, social activities

and peer-led recovery groups in accordance

with the principles of REACH, the Black

Dog Institute’s nine-week psychoeducational

program.

Recover Wellbeing’s combination of

professional support, social inclusion

and informal camaraderie between

participants is what makes the program

appealing and beneficial for people living

with mental distress.

Groups include a culturally specific

Aboriginal program at Emerton in addition

to monthly get-togethers that include Art

and Writing Group 4 Wellbeing, Visual

Arts & Crafts Group 4 Wellbeing, Create

4 Wellbeing, Walk 4 Wellbeing, Dance 4

Wellbeing, Drum 4 Wellbeing and Breaking

Habits 4 Wellbeing.

For more information about Recover

Wellbeing contact CatholicCare

(02) 8822 2222.

All babies and children have the right to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

Your donations to this month’s DWF Appeal will help to support the Diocese of Parramatta’s social services

www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 13


CATHOLIC EDUCATION

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

The test is not the

final score

440

510

The Higher School

Certificate can be a testing

time, not just for students

and teachers but for

families too. Though there

is a range of assessments

throughout any young

person’s schooling, the

HSC and NAPLAN are

seen as the big ones.

Despite the industry that

has developed around

NAPLAN preparation, these useful tests for Years 3,

5, 7 and 9 students simply take a snapshot of literacy

and numeracy skills (see story right). However, the

HSC demands plenty of preparation, but also plenty

of perspective.

For me, and many of my classmates, education

opened doors that had been closed to our families

in previous generations. This is true of many of

the young people studying for the HSC across the

Diocese today.

In my day, study included an ample supply of

handwritten notes on pastel-coloured index cards

from the local newsagency. Far fewer students

completed the HSC and schoolies was yet to

be invented.

These days, students have access to a wide range

of study tools online and often receive their

results by SMS rather than haunting the letterbox

in late December.

At times, there can be an over-emphasis on the ATAR

score as if more than a decade of learning can be

reduced to a single number. Do tests at school really

prepare us for the tests that life throws our way?

Though not all of life’s opportunities and challenges

will be academic, I do see an enduring value of

learning and application to study that the HSC

requires from students over an extended period

– the need to plan, research, collaborate and the

chance to really hone in on a particular area of focus.

436

432

428

424

420

NAPLAN growth the result of continued

focus on teacher learning

In May this year, students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sat the

National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy

(NAPLAN) tests, which measure student performance

in reading, writing, spelling, grammar/punctuation

and numeracy.

The 2016 NAPLAN results indicate that Catholic schools

in the Diocese of Parramatta have shown significant

improvement in a number of areas including Year 5 and 7

numeracy and Year 5 and 7 reading.

In numeracy, 97.6% of students showed growth at or beyond

expected levels from Years 3 to 5, 93.3% showed growth

from Years 5 to 7, and 91.6% showed growth from Years 7

to 9.

In writing, there were more students in the top two bands

for Year 3 and fewer students in the bottom bands for Year

3, 5 and 7.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) is

continuing to reduce the number of vulnerable students

508

506

504

502

500

who are represented in the lower two bands in Reading and

Mathematics for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Deputy Executive Director Sue Walsh said the improvement

was attributed to the focus on teacher professional learning,

literacy and numeracy classroom practice and intervention

programs, including Reading Recovery and Extending

Mathematical Understanding (EMU).

“CEDP has engaged academic partners such as Prof Peter

Sullivan to facilitate teacher professional learning aimed

at increasing student performance in numeracy through

challenging and rich Mathematics tasks,” Sue said.

“Lyn Sharratt from Ontario, Canada, has partnered over

four years with CEDP to lead professional learning in

literacy, which will continue next year.

“These partnerships have delivered quality teacher

learning in literacy and numeracy with a focus on

improving students most at risk and extending students at

the higher levels.”

If students have come away from school with a

lifelong love of learning and re-learning then this will

stand them in good stead for the future.

It’s important to remember, however, that the HSC

and other examinations are a means to an end, rather

than an end in themselves. In my case, these studies

led to the privilege of dedicating my working life to

transforming young lives through education. I wish

every 2016 HSC student the blessing of an equally

rewarding vocation.

Congratulations to our class of 2016 as they

prepare to continue on this next stage of their

learning journey.

Greg Whitby

Executive Director

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@gregwhitby

blog: bluyonder.wordpress.com

14 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


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

From left: Sebastien Nakhoul, Tiarne McLuskey and Taylah Hodgson-Harvey.

Voices of youth speak out for justice

On 20 September, six Year 6 students from

the Diocese of Parramatta competed in the

2016 Voice of Youth Grand Finals.

Tiarne McLuskey from Our Lady of the

Angels Primary, Rouse Hill, won the

Grand Final for her amusing speech,

‘Life is Better with BBQ Sauce’. Taylah

Hodgson-Harvey from St Monica’s

Primary, Richmond, received the Social

Justice award for her speech about child

abuse and domestic violence titled,

‘Child Abuse’.

“So many children are going through this,

and it is not OK,” Taylah said. “I’m really

passionate about this issue and feel it is

very important to share this with students,

parents and teachers, hopefully, to have an

impact in some way.”

Our Lady of the Way Primary, Emu Plains,

Assistant Principal and Voice of Youth

Grand Final Host, Michael Mifsud, said he

was very impressed by the scope of talent in

the 2016 competition.

“Once again the students demonstrated

how we need to let them capture their

spirit and energy, and express themselves,”

Michael said. “The talent was so impressive,

everyone deserved to be a winner.”

Watch VOY speeches: https://www.

youtube.com/watch?v=7sdyn-

XMBaw&feature=youtu.be

Keen golfers Bro Bernard Bulfin FSP and Ian Jordan at the 30 th Annual Diocesan Golf Day.

30 th Annual Diocesan Golf Day hits for success

On 27 September, 156 people attended

the 30 th Annual Diocesan Golf Day, held

at Richmond Golf Club. An all-time

fund record was set with more than

$12,500 raised for the homeless in the

Hawkesbury Community.

The Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay

took out the coveted DDF best scratch

score trophy for a team score of 59

with 11 under.

Foundation sponsors Diocesan

Development Fund (DDF) and

Catholic Church Insurances (CCI) were

acknowledged for their support and

commitment over 30 continuous years.

Diocesan Golf Day organiser Ian Jordan said

the event was a huge success. “Each year

our success continues to grow and I believe

this is testament to the faith and spirit of

our community, coming together for a good

cause,” Ian said.

www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 15


CATHOLIC EDUCATION

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

More than 100 second-year teachers took part in the two-day retreat.

Beginning teachers’ retreat enriches faith

From 12-13 September, more than 100

second year beginning teachers from the

Diocese attended a two-day retreat at the

Benedict XVI Retreat Centre, which offered

an opportunity for deep reflection, prayer

and peer networking.

Director Mission Ian Smith said the days

provided an opportunity for beginning

teachers to deepen their own prayer life and

The Way of Mercy Cross and Relics at St Bernadette's Primary, Lalor Park.

Pilgrimage of the Way of Mercy Cross and

Relics across the Diocese of Parramatta

On 8 August, hundreds of students, parish

members and Catholic Education staff

from around the Diocese gathered in St

Patrick’s Cathedral for the official Way of

Mercy launch.

to resource strategies that might assist in

building up the faith experiences of their

school communities.

“The beginning teachers were invited

to reflect on ways in which they could

enrich the sacramental lives of their

students and to think about the deeper

questions around faith and culture,”

Ian said.

St Oliver’s Primary, Harris Park, Principal

Barbara Young said the ceremony provided

students, teachers and parents with a

valuable opportunity to share stories about

how they live their faith.

Ready, set … read! St Agnes’ 2016 Reading Relay

On 1 September, Year 7 students from

St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty

Hill, participated in the school’s annual

Reading Relay.

Initiated in 2015, the relay involves

students working in teams to read and

summarise a set topic. With the topic for

this year’s relay being ‘Australia’, students

were required to read and analyse a

paragraph about Australia, move to

the other end of the field and provide

a summary of what they read before

tagging their teammate to complete the

next paragraph.

St Agnes’ Literacy teacher Linda Hicks said

the Reading Relay was an excellent way to

make reading fun and interactive.

“We had overwhelmingly positive

feedback from the students who

participated in last year’s relay,” Linda

said. “It is a great way to get students

excited about reading and to help engage

them in literacy.”

Students had to read, run and summarise each paragraph before tagging their teammate to complete the

next paragraph.

Maths teachers deepen their learning

In August and September, a number of

teachers from schools across the Diocese

participated in Extending Mathematical

Understanding (EMU) program

professional learning workshops as part

of the ongoing commitment to improve

student learning outcomes.

The EMU program supports vulnerable

students at risk of falling behind

in Mathematics.

Year 1 EMU specialist teacher, Fiona

Lambert from St Paul the Apostle Primary,

Winston Hills, said the program was not

only professionally rewarding, it also

produced great results for students.

“Throughout the program you can really

see the students’ confidence start to grow,”

Fiona said. “As a Year 1 teacher the EMU

training has been great for my professional

development and the support that has been

offered has been outstanding.”

A key part of the learning for teachers

is participating in a ‘Behind the Screen’

lesson, where teachers observed an EMU

lesson and then provided feedback on what

they observed.

The launch marked the beginning of a

three-month pilgrimage (8 August -

13 November) of a Mercy Cross and the

Relics of our diocesan patron, St Mary

of the Cross MacKillop, and St Teresa

of Kolkata from the Cathedral to the

churches, schools and communities

across the Diocese.

Meet the new Principal of St Luke’s, Greg Miller.

“A representative from each class brought

forward their class candle, which was lit

from the Way of Mercy candle and placed

in front of the Cross,” Barbara said. “At

the conclusion of the ceremony, each

student, teacher and parent was given the

opportunity to come forward to venerate

the Cross.”

Meet the Principal of St Luke’s College, Marsden Park

With 28 years in Catholic education across

five dioceses in Sydney and regional NSW,

and more than 14 years as a senior leader,

Greg Miller said he feels “well placed to

take on the exciting and privileged role”

of founding Principal Leader at St Luke's

Catholic College, Marsden Park.

“In a place where ‘Learning = Infinite

Possibilities’, St Luke's will soon engage

with parents, students and teachers of the

Learning Community to explore, discover

EMU teachers at the Aengus Kavanagh Centre after the ‘Behind the Scenes’ lesson.

and establish the ‘new normal’ for pre- to

post-school learning in an environment

which prepares students for a changing

world,” Greg said.

“From day one, St Luke’s will nurture

and grow faith-filled, curious children

to become critical thinkers and creative

problem solvers.

“Literacy and numeracy will be strong

enablers for each student to engage

with a flexible curriculum, which will focus

on preparing students with

21 st Century skills.

“Part of my role will be to collaboratively

nurture and develop the leadership

capabilities of leaders and teacher leaders

so they can have the greatest impact on

students’ learning.”

Meet St Luke's New Principal

https://youtu.be/nAeX9_nfSAo

16 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


INSTITUTE FOR MISSION

Nourishment for your life in faith – is 2017 your time?

HAVE YOU BEEN promising to

nurture your faith or enthuse

your mission with God? You are

welcome to consider one of two programs

being announced for 2017 by the Diocese

of Parramatta’s Institute for Mission (IFM)

at Blacktown.

Formation in Themes of Faith – starts 6

February 2017 – apply now!

Formation for Reflective Ministry – starts

March 2017 – express interest now!

Formation in Themes of Faith – a

guided exploration of key components of

Catholic life.

This program (formerly named Beginning

Theology) is a mix of group and individual

experience. Participants are part of a group

that comes together with a mentor for four

enjoyable Monday night sessions for each

of four topics across the year (16 gatherings

in total).

An engaging collection of provided

readings is the stimulus each time for the

group to further explore the Catholic faith.

Group members share brief prepared

thoughts and reflections from their guided

reading, as well as join in conversation that

the mentor assists within the group.

A part of each evening brings the groups

together as a whole for a topic summary

and to provide a great chance to get to know

other people.

No prior formal studies in faith are

required. This program helps the participants

in their competency and ongoing growth

regarding some key areas:

1. God (themes of Spirituality and Trinity);

2. Word of God (themes of Scripture – Old

and New);

3. People of God (themes of Church,

Sacrament and Spirit); and

4. Living in God’s Love (themes of Catholic

teaching and living).

Cost: $220 per person with parish

reduction and sponsorship options.

Speak to Fr Paul or Raimie from the IFM

team for more info, tel (02) 9831 4911 or

send an email to connect@ifm.org.au

Starts 6 February 2017. APPLY NOW

at www.ifm.org.au (applications close

11 December).

Formation for reflective ministry –

Pastoral theology for those serving in and

through Catholic communities

This new program is a change of

structure from the former Certificate

in Pastoral Formation and now consists

of a series of gatherings across autumn

and spring. There is a long break during

the winter except for a retreat day

and a session about spiritual gifts and

ministry goals.

The Formation for Reflective Ministry

program includes input from a number of

qualified presenters and some enriching

readings which include a focus on:

• Foundations of spirituality for life in faith;

• Biblical background and the study and

application of Scripture;

• Theological emphases at the heart of

Catholic life and belief; and

• The mission of evangelisation.

It is a program aimed at enthusing those

who have been or are currently involved in

an expression of ministry/service through a

Catholic community and who want to keep

discerning such involvement in the living

and sharing of their faith.

And so there are priorities in this program

for nourishing and skilling in practical

priorities such as:

• Contemplation and praying with

the Scriptures;

• Relational and missionary qualities for

ministry; and

• Strategies and priorities for today’s

Church communities.

The Formation for Reflective Ministry

program combines 18 enjoyable Tuesday

evenings with a few half Saturdays and some

enriching reading, journaling, processing

and sharing.

Cost: $390 per person with parish

reduction and sponsorship options.

Speak to Fr Paul or Donnie from the IFM

team for more info, tel (02) 9831 4911 or

send an email to connect@ifm.org.au

Starts March 2017. EXPRESS

YOUR INITIAL INTEREST NOW at

www.ifm.org.au (formal applications open

this month).

www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 17


DIOCESAN NEWS

Tamils’ devotion to Mother Mary

By Jordan Grantham

FATHER ROBERT WILLIAM is Chaplain

to the vibrant Tamil Catholic community

in the Diocese of Parramatta,

which includes Tamils from Sri Lanka, India,

Malaysia, Singapore and other parts of

the world.

Fr Robert is Assistant Priest at Blessed

John XXIII Parish, Glenwood-Stanhope

Gardens, and celebrates the Tamil Mass on

the last Sunday of every month at Sacred

Heart Church, Westmead.

The Tamil people are an ancient ethnic

group, with roots in India and Sri Lanka.

Christianity came with the colonial

expansion of the Portuguese.

St Thomas the Apostle, St Francis

Xavier, the Italian Jesuit Robert de Nobili

and St John de Britto from France are the

key evangelisers of the Tamil people, who

developed a distinct cultural expression

of Catholicism.

Tamil Catholicism is growing in our

Diocese, with multiple annual events. Marian

devotion is demonstrated in spectacular style

at the Tamil celebration of Mother Mary’s

birthday. The Tamil Chaplaincy prays and

feasts on the first Sunday after the Nativity

of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on 8 September.

This is held each year at Mt Schoenstatt

in Mulgoa where almost 1000 people gather

for the day. On the same day after the Mass,

the Mt Schoenstatt’s image of Mary Thrice

Admirable is placed on a float and decorated

with colourful floral arrangements.

Women wear the sari and men dress

formally. A group bears the float for each

decade of the rosary, prayed by the gathered

crowds. After each decade, rosaries are

held to the image of the Mother Thrice

Admirable and all sing the Lourdes Hymn.

People with special intentions carry the

image and offer the service as prayerful

sacrifice with their prayers.

Families bring their favourite dish to

share and celebrate from early afternoon

until the evening. Devotion to Mother

Mary is important to Tamil families. “This

helps the children to grow in faith and

love,” Fr Robert explained.

The annual celebration of Mother Mary’s birthday takes place at Mt Schoenstatt.

Fr Robert William is Chaplain to the Tamil Catholic

community in the Diocese. Photo: Jordan Grantham.

Pilgrimage to Mother Mary is given special

emphasis in Tamil culture. The shrines of

Our Lady of Velankami (India) and Our

Lady of Madhu (Sri Lanka) receive millions

of pilgrims annually. “This is a massive feast

day for Tamils,” Fr Robert said.

More than 1000 gather for Tamil

midnight Mass on New Year’s Eve at St

Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta. “People

wish to receive abundant blessings of our

Lord on the very first day of the New Year,”

Fr Robert said.

The Tamil Family Day celebration is on the

first Sunday of December at Mt Schoenstatt.

Love and prayer within the family are

emphasised. “The faith starts from the

family,” Fr Robert explained.

Every couple attending the Family Day

Mass publicly renews their vows.

A pilgrimage to Berrima is organised

during Lent. “We observe penance,

including a passion play of Our Lord’s final

moments on earth,” Fr Robert said. “I see

the sincerity of the Tamils and the faith of

the families. Faith and family are the pillars

of the Tamil community.”

The community’s special devotion to

Mother Mary and respect for mothers go

hand in hand. “In Tamil culture, mothers

play an important role,” Fr Robert said.

Shinto Francis was drawn by the strong faith, growth and multiculturalism of the Diocese of Parramatta.

Photo: Jordan Grantham.

Shinto a candidate for Holy Orders

By Jordan Grantham

SEMINARIAN FOR THE DIOCESE of

Parramatta Shinto Francis was accepted

as a candidate for Holy Orders at Richmond

Parish during Mass with Bishop Vincent

Long OFM Conv on 16 October.

Shinto’s journey on the path to ordination

has been rewarding; strengthening faith,

discernment and joy. The journey of

discernment has taken him far from his

family but now he has “found my home

here”, he said.

Shinto, aged 32, is a tall and slim figure,

with a bright face. He speaks kindly, with

an ever-present smile. Originally from

Kerala, South India, Shinto grew up in a

faith-filled family.

“We had the rosary daily, during evening

prayer,” he said. Shinto is the fourth of seven

children and they also gathered daily for

morning prayers.

Though living in a rural area, the local

parish was based in a hall only 200m from

his childhood home. Shinto grew up as part

of the Syro-Malabar Rite, an Eastern Rite of

the Catholic Church.

St Mary’s Church, Cholathadam,

replaced the hall more than a year ago. The

architectural style of Syro-Malabar churches

is renowned for colour; the churches are

beacons of faith to the parish area.

At the age of 13, while serving as an

altar boy in this parish, Shinto first

sensed God calling him to the priesthood.

Soon afterwards, he inquired to the local

diocese and at the age of 15 entered the

minor seminary, a common occurrence in

this system of upper secondary formation

for the priesthood, which no longer exists

in Australia.

In his early 20s, Shinto took leave from the

seminary, wishing to gain more experience

in the workforce. During this break, Shinto

undertook secular studies and managed a

team in a graphic design firm.

Sensing God was calling him to Australia,

Shinto was drawn by the strong faith, growth

and multiculturalism of the Diocese of

Parramatta, where he has lived for the past

three years.

“Multiculturalism itself is a huge difference

for anyone coming from a non-multicultural

society. After coming here I met people

from many countries, which I knew nothing

about,” Shinto shared.

Prior to joining the Seminary of the Holy

Spirit at Harris Park, Shinto frequently played

the keyboard and guitar. Now he can also

play the piano. Lang Lang and Yiruma are

some of Shinto’s favourite recent composers.

Unusually, the seminary contains stained

glass depictions of master composers because

its Victorian era building was previously a

music school. Beethoven is depicted in the

main stairwell’s window.

Haydn is depicted above Beethoven, in the

same window. Shinto has much in common

with Franz Joseph Haydn; including two

names (Joseph is Shinto’s baptismal name),

devotion to the holy rosary and a joyful spirit.

Haydn was a devout Catholic with a warm

demeanour, who remarked, "As God has

given me a cheerful heart, He will forgive

me for serving Him cheerfully." This applies

equally to Shinto.

Gratitude marks his attitude towards those

around him. Shinto is especially thankful to

the seminary’s Rector, Fr John Hogan, and Fr

Robert Riedling, among many others, whose

generous support has allowed him to flourish

in his vocation.

The spiritual, pastoral, intellectual and

human formation programs of the seminary

have been “amazing,” Shinto said.

He looks forward to learning from

experienced priests about being a pastor and

part of a parish community.

His experience in the Church

and world places him in a good position

to give encouragement regarding vocational

discernment.

“Pray constantly. Take your discernment

seriously. If you think God might be calling

you to the priesthood, try discerning it living

inside a seminary rather than outside it.

Seminary is the best place to discern your

vocation,” Shinto advised.

18 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


OFFICE FOR WORSHIP

More than 70 people gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta for a Bishop Vincent Long welcomes presenter Nick Wagner, founder of Team There were opportunities to connect with RCIA teams across

reflection day on the RCIA process.

RCIA in the US.

the Diocese.

Exploring new pathways of RCIA

By Sr Mary Louise Walsh ISSM

Liturgy Educator in the

Office for Worship

On 24 September, more than 70 people

gathered at St Patrick’s Cathedral

in Parramatta for a reflection day on

the RCIA process.

The day was sponsored by the diocesan

Office for Worship and was open to

participants from the parishes of the

Diocese and any interested people from the

neighbouring area.

The presenter for the day was Nick

Wagner. Nick is the director and founder of

Team RCIA. He has worked for many years

in the ministry of Rite of Christian Initiation

of Adults in the US and beyond and has a

vast array of experiences and knowledge as

the source of his sharing.

The day began with a welcome by Bishop

Vincent Long OFM Conv who had many

encouraging words to offer. We were all

delighted that he was able to be with us at

this time.

The morning session gave the

participants an opportunity to review

the development of RCIA in the Church

in the period following the revival at

the Second Vatican Council. Then Nick

outlined some useful strategies to assist

teams in involving the wider membership

of their parishes.

The inspirational sharing offered by Nick

Wagner demonstrated his gift for translating

theological principles into simple and clear

language that inspires joy, commitment and

passion for faith.

In the afternoon we continued with a

sharing and reflection on the period of

Purification and Enlightenment followed by

a brief reflection on Mystagogia.

Throughout the day there were also

opportunities to connect with RCIA teams

across the Diocese. In the coming months the

Office for Worship will facilitate workshops

so as to continue the formation and support

of RCIA teams.

For information about the RCIA, please

contact the Office for Worship, tel (02) 8838

3457 or send an email to MLWalsh@parra.

catholic.org.au

The Office for Worship is offering Liturgical Ministry

Courses in 2017, open to all parishes and individuals

seeking formation and training for serving at the altar.

Held at the Diocesan Assembly Centre in Blacktown on

Mondays and at St Nicholas of Myra in Penrith on Thursdays,

the formation courses are for anyone who is interested in

becoming a Minister of the Word, Holy Communion, Communion

to the Sick and Dying, Adult Altar Server or Acolyte. Please

refer to the dates below for the ministry course schedule:

Compulsory

Introductory Session

Ministers of

the Word

Extraordinary

Ministers of

Communion

Communion to the

Sick & Dying

Altar Servers &

Acolytes

Mondays 7pm @ Blacktown

Thursdays 7pm @ Penrith

20 February 23 February

27 February & 6 March 2 & 9 March

13 & 20 March 16 & 23 March

27 March 30 March

1 & 8 May 4 & 11 May

For more information about these courses and to register,

please contact the Office for Worship tel (02) 8838 3456 or visit

www.parracatholic.org.au/office-for-worship

Lourdes Medical & Dental Centre is a new non-corporate purpose

built medical practice in Western Sydney. This is a rare and exciting

opportunity to join our practice where we aim to provide a friendly

environment for both patients and staff.

General Practitioner

This is a rare and exciting opportunity to be involved from the ground up.

Current registration with AHPRA and medical indemnity insurance are

essential. Female GPs are encouraged to apply.

Percentage of billing available. The practice is conveniently located near a

new housing estate (Fairwater) with lots of potential for new patients. Please

note our practice is not located within a DWS area.

Registered Nurse – Casual

The successful applicant must have current registration and previous

experience as a practice nurse in a medical centre. Good communication

skills with both patients and doctors is required. Proven accreditation in

women’s screening and childhood immunisation is essential.

The role will involve: Wound care, ECG, Venepuncture, Health assessments &

Care plans. Full AHPRA registration and insurance required. Computer skills

are necessary. Award rates commensurate with qualifications. Days and

hours flexible.

Application process: For more information about these positions, please

email resume to dorothy.cragg@lourdesmc.com.au or telephone

Therese Phan 0421 218 072 or Dorothy Cragg 0404 906 949.

Our practice is home to General Practitioners, Allied Health Professionals

and Dentists and is supported by onsite pathology and a registered

nurse. The practice is easily accessible and has onsite parking. The

surgery is computerised and assisted by experienced administrative

staff. Full Accreditation has been achieved with AGPAL.

www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 19


CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE

Catechists join Bishop Vincent for annual CCD Mass

SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATORS

(SREs/catechists) travelled from all

parts of this Diocese to celebrate

Eucharist at Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore

Park, where the Parish Priest, Fr Chris

Antwi-Boasiako, hosted the 2016 diocesan

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Mass

on 21 October.

Cecilia Zammit, Director of CCD

Parramatta, welcomed the clergy and

more than 600 people assembled for this

celebration. This was Bishop Vincent

Long’s first opportunity to meet and greet

the catechists – women and men who each

week go into 200 local state schools to share

their faith and the love of God.

In his homily, Bishop Vincent announced

that the Church is moving beyond a

clerical structure to the “arrival of the age

of the laity” with core responsibility in the

building of the community.

Bishop Vincent said, “The signs of the

times talked about in the Gospel today

is a source of new hope and that armed

with the Gospel we can be the faces of

Christ and ambassadors of his mercy. The

hallmarks of our discipleship are faith,

service and engagement.”

Student representatives from 15 Catholic

colleges joined the entrance procession

behind their school banners and the Jubilee

Mercy Cross and Relics were carried in by

students of Caroline Chisholm College,

Glenmore Park, and by Veronica and

Frank Sultana.

It was, in fact, Veronica who more than 14

years ago initiated the student SRE program

with students from Caroline Chisholm

College. This ministry has now spread to 20

Catholic colleges in our Diocese.

A very important part of this celebration

was the presentation of Diocesan CCD

Awards immediately after Mass. Bishop

Vincent presented awards to catechists who

had served the Church as SREs for 40 years

(Sabine Harriss), 35 years (Cecilia Fanning

and Margaret Ryan) and 30 years (Julie

Daly, Lyn Burton, Clare Brcar, Mila Svehla

and Laura Eid).

Papal blessings (20 years’ service)

were presented to June Brennen, Patricia

Duncan, Lorraine Gordon, Maureen Jones,

Bernadette Leccese, Maria Long, Peter

Stapleton and Maureen Watts, and SREs

who had served for 25 years and 15 years

were also recognised.

More than 600 people came together for this year’s CCD Mass and presentation of service awards.

Photos: Alfred Boudib.

Twelve SREs were conferred with

Graduation Certificates for completing

Level 3 Primary Training Course and nine

others who had retired from roles as parish

coordinators were shown appreciation for

their service.

Celebrations continued afterwards as

catechists shared stories over lunch in the

Bethany Primary School hall.

As the number of schools in Western

Sydney continues to grow each year,

parishes are always keen to hear from

anyone interested in joining this band

of catechists. Alternatively, you are

welcome to contact Maree Collis at the

CCD Office, tel (02) 9890 4731 or

mcollis@ccdparramatta.com.au

Orientation and training is provided and

volunteers usually begin this ministry as a

helper SRE.

20 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


City of Parramatta a

Refugee Welcome Zone

THE JESUIT REFUGEE SERVICE, the

Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and the

Refugee Council of Australia together

approached the City of Parramatta recently

to propose that the council become a Refugee

Welcome Zone.

This national initiative recognises local

government areas that make a commitment

in spirit to welcoming refugees into the

community and acknowledging the positive

contribution refugees make to society.

On 10 October, the City of Parramatta,

led by Administrator Amanda Chadwick,

formally endorsed this recommendation

and at a ceremony planned for later this

year, Parramatta will become a Refugee

Welcome Zone.

Maeve Brown is the Manager of Jesuit

Refugee Service’s Arrupe Project, which

provides casework support, emergency relief,

legal assistance and social and educational

support to people seeking asylum.

“The City of Parramatta has a long

history of welcoming many thousands

of refugees and people seeking asylum,"

Maeve said. "Becoming a Refugee Welcome

Zone recognises the council’s ongoing

commitment and support for refugees.”

Sr Catherine Ryan RSM, Congregation

Leader, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, also

welcomed the endorsement by the City

of Parramatta. “The council’s decision

demonstrates a commitment in spirit

to welcoming refugees into our local

community, upholding the human rights

of refugees and demonstrating both

compassion and an understanding of the

suffering and traumas many of these people

have endured.”

Sr Catherine acknowledged that

becoming a Refugee Welcome Zone was an

important recognition of the tremendous

contribution refugees have made over the

years to enhancing the religious and cultural

diversity of the Australian community.

The Refugee Council of Australia Acting

Chief Executive Officer, Tim O’Connor, said

the Refugee Welcome Zone initiative was a

simple and effective way local councils could

exercise positive leadership on refugee issues.

“Councils sign a declaration to welcome

refugees, uphold their human rights,

demonstrate compassion for new arrivals

and enhance cultural and religious diversity.

How councils implement the pledge is

entirely up to them,” he said.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

The decision demonstrates a commitment in spirit to welcoming refugees into our local community.

Bringing Laudato Si’ to Life: From Vision to Action

10 & 11 November 2016

With Fr Sean McDonagh SSC, Irish eco-theologian and Columban missionary who will contribute

to bringing the vision of Laudato Si’ to life and action in churches and the wider community, in

dialogue with other faiths and with environmentalists.

10 November: Public Event

• 6pm for 6.30pm start, finishes 8.30pm • ACU, Gleeson Auditorium, Barker Rd, Strathfield

11 November: Priests & Parish Workers

• 1pm for 1.30pm start, finishes 3.30pm• ACU, Tenison Woods House, Napier St, North Sydney

RSVP for both events is Monday 7 November: admin.cmi@columban.org.au

Further details at www.columban.org.au or tel (02) 9352 8021.

MASS TIMES AND REGULAR SERVICE

Weekend Masses

Saturday 8am, 9:30am

(Mass in the Extraordinary Form – Latin),

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

11am (Solemn Mass), 6pm

Weekday Masses

Monday to Friday 6.45am,12.30pm

Public Holidays 8am

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Monday to Friday 11.30am-12.20pm

Sacrament of Penance

Weekdays 11.15am-12.20pm

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

Devotions

Morning Prayer of the Church

Monday to Friday 6.30am

Saturday and Sunday 7.30am

Angelus

Monday to Friday noon

Rosary

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

www.stpatscathedral.com.au

ST PATRICK’S

CATHEDRAL

1 Marist Place, Parramatta

Put those you love in the

hands of those who care

Sydney (02) 9519 5344

Parramatta (02) 9687 1072

wnbull@wnbull.com

www.wnbull.com.au

www.catholicoutlook.org

NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 21


YEAR OF MERCY www.mercyhasaface.org.au #mercyhasaface

Way of Mercy

Pilgrimage concludes

as Year of Mercy

draws to a close

The Way of Mercy in images

The Way of Mercy Pilgrimage with the

Mercy Cross and Relics of St Teresa of

Kolkata and our diocesan patron, St Mary

of the Cross MacKillop, will conclude

on Sunday 13 November at St Patrick’s

Cathedral in Parramatta.

As the Jubilee Year of Mercy draws to a

close, Holy Doors in the basilicas of Rome

and in dioceses across the world will close

on this day. Bishop Vincent Long OFM

Conv will close the Holy Door at St Patrick’s

Cathedral following the 6pm Mass.

Bethany Primary School, Granville.

Migrant and Refugee Sunday, Blacktown.

Photo: Art in Images.

The Mercy Cross & Relics visited Holy Trinity

Primary and Delany College, Granville.

Prior to the Mass, the Cathedral Parish will

host a Way of Mercy Regional Gathering

with St Monica’s Parish, North Parramatta;

St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley;

Christ the King Parish, North Rocks; and

Holy Name of Mary Parish, Rydalmere.

Everyone is welcome to take part in the

ceremony, which will commence with the

arrival of the Cross and Relics and the Way

of Mercy procession at 4.30pm.

St Patrick’s Primary School, Guildford.

Our Lady of the Angels Primary School, Kellyville.

Mercy representatives from across

the Diocese will represent parishes

and schools, religious communities,

migrant communities, health, prison and

university chaplaincies, and Catholic

groups and movements.

After the 6pm Mass, there will be a sausage

sizzle fundraiser with proceeds going to

Arrupe Place, a drop-in centre in North

Parramatta for newly arrived Australians

run by Jesuit Refugee Service Australia.

Mercy Cross & Relics at Mary Immaculate Primary School, Quakers Hill.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy called by Pope

Francis will end on the Solemnity of Our

Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, on

Sunday 20 November when the Pope will

close the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica

in Rome.

To view photo galleries and videos of the

Way of Mercy in the Diocese of Parramatta

visit the website:

www.mercyhasaface.org.au

The Mercy Cross is raised.

St Andrew’s Primary School, Marayong.

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

A priest visiting the sick in Peru

*

22 CatholicOutlook NOVEMBER 2016 www.catholicoutlook.org


NEWS & EVENTS

Students create a place at the table

NOVEMBER CALENDAR

By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA

Social Justice Director

ST PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL HALL

filled with the sounds of 100 excited

Year 9 student leaders on 12 October,

all seeking to learn more about creating a

place at the table, this year’s social justice

statement from the Australian Catholic

Bishops Conference.

The day was a student-led day by

student for students, meeting new friends

and sharing their thoughts, reflections

and actions for justice.

The inaugural social justice awards were

presented by Greg Whitby, Executive

Director of Schools, along with a stirring

call for us all to continue to lead and live

this Gospel call within our communities.

In conjunction with this day, students

from across the Diocese had participated

in an essay competition. Casey Pennell

from Marian Catholic College, Kenthurst,

presented her significant reflections as the

inaugural winner of the Bishop’s Social

Justice Award.

“As I watch the news daily I can’t

help but wonder what has happened

to our world today. Have we forgotten

how to care for one another and treat

friends and strangers alike with respect

and understanding?

“I hope that my generation can one day

help to make a difference by listening to

those who dare to speak up against the

violence in this world and the effect it has

on so many lives.”

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv who

is chairman of the Australian Catholic

Social Justice Council challenged us with

a keynote address in which he shared

that, like Pope Francis, as leaders we

are called to reach out to those on the

margins of society.

Here in Australia it is often our

Bishop Vincent with recipients of the inaugural Bishop’s Social Justice Awards. Photo: Art in Images.

elderly who are on the margins as they

face various forms of social isolation

and exclusion.

A short video on the local experience

of students from Emmaus College

visiting Emmaus Village aged care facility

at Kemps Creek. Both students and

residents spoke of the importance of the

relationships and engagement that these

visits provided.

It was inspiring to hear what the visits

mean to the residents of the village

and to hear what the students received

from conversation and friendship with

the residents.

Then it was over to individual groups

to break open different parts of the social

justice statement. Each student had a

different section of the statement to reflect

on and report back to our whole group.

After lunch we heard from Rayella

Haines, a parishioner from Our Lady of

the Rosary, St Marys, who shared what

it means for her to have the energy and

enthusiasm of young adults in her life.

Luke Tobin, Caritas Australia’s

Justice Educator, challenged us with

a call to action on the importance of

being Gospel people who put into

action Catholic Social Teaching – Luke

stressed that we are called as leaders to

do this now within our communities

and families.

Time for a second workshop on making

the statement real and lived within our

school communities. This was a time to

share in our discussion groups what we

were already doing and how we can call

the community to bring this to life when

we return to school.

Taking up the challenge of being leaders

not only in the future but in the here and

now. Each group developed a strategy for

the way ahead.

The day was a great success because

of the support and work of the Catholic

Education Office Mission Team and safe

to say that all left this inspiring day with

the desire to create a place at the table

for all.

11-13 LEADING AN ENERGISED LIFE

This weekend workshop is for those who are

interested in exploring and developing their

spirituality in ways that energise their lives.

Facilitated by Br (Dr) Barry Donaghue, Director

Emeritus of Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality

Center, Cedar Rapids, US. Venue is the Edmund

Rice Retreat & Conference Centre, Winbourne,

1315 Mulgoa Rd, Mulgoa. Information:

www.winbourne.org Bookings: (02) 4773 5555.

17 HOLY HOUR FOR VOCATIONS

Join the Holy Hour for Vocations from 7pm-

8pm for an hour of adoration, prayer, music and

quiet time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in

St Patrick’s Cathedral, 1 Marist Plc, Parramatta.

To find out more about priesthood contact

Fr Warren Edwards, Director of Priestly Vocations,

vocations@parra.catholic.org.au

20 ‘WAITING FOR GABRIEL’ SEMINAR

FOR COUPLES HOPING TO

CONCEIVE

From 1.30-4pm at the Diocesan Assembly

Centre (attached to IFM building), 1-5 Marion St,

Blacktown. Hosted by the Life, Marriage & Family

Office, Diocese of Parramatta. RSVP: (02) 8838

3441, lmf@parra.catholic.org.au

26 REFLECTION DAY FOR WOMEN:

ADVENT – A SEASON OF HOPE

Presented by Sr Mary Louise Walsh ISSM from

9.30am-3pm at Mt Schoenstatt, Fairlight Rd,

Mulgoa. Cost: $25. To register tel (02) 4773 8338,

info@schoenstatt.org.au

30 SCRIPTURE REFLECTION EVENING

– THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

The Institute for Mission is hosting a Bible study

evening led by Dr Michele Connolly RSJ, a biblical

studies lecturer at CIS who will be opening up

the Gospel of Matthew in preparation for the

upcoming Advent season and liturgical year. From

7pm-9pm at the IFM, 1-5 Marion St, Blacktown.

RSVP 25 November: charbel.dib@ifm.org.au

For more events please go to:

http://catholicoutlook.org/event/

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NOVEMBER 2016 CatholicOutlook 23


BUILDING SERVICES LOCALLY TO MAKE A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES

$49 $24 $10 $__

$49 can help provide

financial or family

counselling

$24 can help provide

refugees educational

supplies for English courses

$10 can help provide

equipment and uniforms for

employment courses.

Your support will go a long

way in providing counselors

and case workers to our

disadvantaged across

Western Sydney and the

Blue Mountains

Please give generously today and support our social services

CatholicCare Social Services:

Choices (employment) | Blacktown Neighbour Aid | Financial Counselling | Relationship and Family Counselling | Solo Parents Ministry

Houses to Homes and Project Elizabeth | Mamre, Refugee Education (English Course)

Ephpheta Centre (for deaf and hard of hearing people):

Community Visits | Education Programs | Marriage Services | Funeral Services | Volunteering

You can donate using the DWF Appeal envelope or donate online at parracatholic.org/dwf

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