Catholic Outlook December 2016

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



Wishing all

of our readers a


and a Happy New Year

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As I celebrate my first Christmas with

you as the Bishop of Parramatta, I want to

warmly thank everyone who has made me

feel at home and welcome in the Diocese of

Parramatta. It always amazes me that despite

our differences, we are united in the bond of

our Catholic faith.

Let us reflect on this theme of welcome as

we welcome Jesus, the Emmanuel who came

to live among us as a helpless, vulnerable

and lowly person.

To the question “What does Christmas

mean for us?” in the reality of life in which

we find ourselves, I suggest the following:

first of all, do not remain behind our own

security. As God abandoned his own

security in order to be with us, so must we

have the courage to leave our comfort zones

and discover the presence, the beauty, the

love of God in unfamiliar or even disordered

places, in the margins and the shadows

of life. If Jesus was born in a manger and

surrounded by lowly people, then we must

discover him again in the unlikely situations

At Christmas, we

rejoice at the birth

of the Emmanuel.

Like the people who

walked in darkness,

we too have seen a

great light (Is 9:2).


Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv



11 Celebrates Holy Mass of the 3 rd Sunday of Advent with

the Admission to Candidacy to Holy Orders at Our Lady

of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville, at 11.00am.

13 Celebrates Holy Mass on the occasion of Graduation for

Campion College at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta,

at 2.00pm.

15 Meeting of the Council of Priests and College of


16 Celebrates Holy Mass of Giving Thanks to God for

Agency Staff of the Diocese of Parramatta at St Patrick’s

Cathedral, Parramatta.

22 Celebrates Holy Mass on the occasion of the 65 th

Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood of Rev Fr

Claude Borg MSSP at St Dominic’s Chapel, Blacktown,

at 7.00pm.

24 Presides at an Office of Carols and Readings for the

Solemnity of Christmas at St Patrick’s Cathedral,

Parramatta, at 11.30pm.

25 Celebrates Solemn Pontifical Mass of Mass during the

Night for the Solemnity of Christmas at St Patrick’s

Cathedral, Parramatta, at midnight.

which demand from us a conversion of

heart and mind.

Secondly, contemplate him in the essence

of life which is to be found in wasteful love,

in simplicity, in friendship and solidarity.

Like Mary and Joseph who contemplated

Christ born homeless and rejected, we can

learn to recognise the same Christ who does

not find welcome and hospitality on our

shores, the same Christ who does not find a

room in people’s hearts. We cannot worship

the Christ child in truth without embracing

the most vulnerable.

Thirdly, live in hope no matter the

circumstances. Let this hope be deeply

rooted in your life of faith and love. Let

this hope also be contagious by your

positive influence to the lives of others.

Let this Christmas be a time of renewal

and transformation in our lives and

relationships and not simply be a time of

relaxation and indulgence.

At Christmas, we rejoice at the birth of

the Emmanuel. Like the people who walked

in darkness, we too have seen a great light

(Is 9:2). The fact that God is with us makes

everything else pale into insignificance.

No crisis, no uncertainty, no poverty, no

distress, or as St Paul convinces us, nothing

in heaven, on earth or in the underworld,

can undermine our faith in this God, born

for us (Rom 8:39).

Let us rejoice but let us also live the spirit

of Christmas which is to be found in selfemptying

love. The Christ child becomes

poor to make us rich, therefore, let us

also abandon ourselves in wasteful love,

in simplicity, in friendship and solidarity

with our brothers and sisters. Then, we will

experience the true joy which comes from

him who is our source of peace and love

25 Celebrates Solemn Pontifical Mass of Mass during

the Day for the Solemnity of Christmas at St Patrick’s

Cathedral, Parramatta, at 11am.


Let us rejoice

but let us also

live the spirit of

Christmas which

is to be found in

self-emptying love.

Through the eyes of Mary, who “pondered

all these things in her heart” (Lk 2:19), we

too can come to a deeper understanding

of God, “the Word made flesh” (Jn 1:14)

and how we can grow as a more humble,

inclusive and outward-looking Church

that strives for servant leadership in our

world today.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, this

Christmas let us be the face of Mercy and

welcome not only to those who seek asylum

from persecution and also to those who may

be refugees in our own communities; the

poor, the marginalised, the unaccepted and

the unloved.

If we are to be a Church that is fully alive in

the world today then we need to be Marian

in our approach to God the Eternal Father.

Like Mary, we must preach, proclaim and

live her Fiat (yes).

This Christmas may we too be like

Mary, the humble handmaid of the Lord

that our souls may rejoice in God our

Saviour who came “not to be served but

to serve” (Mk 10:45).

Wishing you and your families God’s

kindest blessings in this Holy Season.

1 Celebrates Solemn Pontifical Mass for the Solemnity of

Mary, the Holy Mother of God at St Patrick’s Cathedral,

Parramatta, at 11.00am.

5 Celebrates Mass with the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin

Mary, Queen of the World on the occasion of their

General Chapter.

8 Celebrates Solemn Pontifical Mass for the Solemnity

of the Epiphany of the Lord at St Patrick’s Cathedral,

Parramatta, at 11.00am.

22 Celebrates Solemn Pontifical Mass for the 3 rd Sunday in

Ordinary Time at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta,

at 11.00am.

25 Attends System Leadership Day for Catholic Education

Diocese of Parramatta at Rosehill Gardens.

29 Pontifical Mass of the 4 th Sunday in Ordinary Time with

the celebration of Chinese New Year at St Monica’s Parish,

North Parramatta, at 11.30am.




SOCIAL JUSTICE ...................................... 3, 6

CATHOLIC YOUTH ......................................4

NEWS & EVENTS .........5, 7, 11, 17, 22, 23

PARISH PROFILE.......................................8-9

LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY .....................10

YEAR OF MERCY .................................12-13

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

CONSECRATED LIFE .................................18



DIOCESAN NEWS................................20, 21


The official publication of the

Diocese of Parramatta


Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv

Bishop of Parramatta

Tel (02) 8838 3400

Fax (02) 9630 4813

PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750

Email: bishop@parra.catholic.org.au

Website: www.parracatholic.org


Jane Favotto

Tel (02) 8838 3409


PO Box 3066,

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750


Jordan Grantham

Adrian Middeldorp


Chris Murray

Stephen Poleweski

School news:

Catholic Education Office

Tel (02) 9840 5609



Editorial and advertising

– 10 th of the month prior to publication


Tel (02) 8838 3409



Alfie Ramirez

Tel (02) 8838 3437



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 DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org

Idomeni Greece, 24 September 2015: Hundreds of immigrants at the border between Greece and Macedonia

waiting for the right time to continue their journey from unguarded passages. Image supplied.

Bishop Vincent Long:

‘seeking asylum a basic human right’

From Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv


Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull,

and the Minister for Immi-


gration, Peter Dutton, that the Government

will introduce proposed legislation banning

those who have arrived in Australia by boat

from 19 July 2013 onwards from ever being

able to apply for a visa to Australia is deeply

disappointing,” Bishop Vincent said in a

statement released on 7 November.

“Seeking asylum even by boat is not illegal.

It is a basic human right. Yet not content

with demeaning them, the Australian

Government now wants to introduce laws

that will ban them from ever coming here.

“The motives for these measures, in light

of the current situation on Manus Island and

Nauru, and in light of the bigger challenges

facing Australia, are questionable at best and

sinister at worst. Domestic advocates and

international agencies have been appalled by

the conditions under which asylum seekers

live and the effects on their health, spirits and


“To single out and punish further a small

number of people who came by boat, even if

they are found to meet the refugee definition,

is deliberately cruel and un-Australian. It

betrays the tradition, status and character

of the country that we are proud of – a

richly resourced country with a big heart for

migrants and refugees.

“I urge all Australians to reject these cruel

and unnecessary measures. We must find

a more just, humane and effective way in

dealing with the complex issues of seeking

asylum and refugee protection. Inflicting

more pain and harm to a small group of

people who have caused us no harm is not

worthy of all fair dinkum Australians.

“I appeal to all political leaders to

resist this latest mean-spirited move

against asylum seekers and to reclaim

the reputation of a decent, humane and

generous country; it is the kind of country

that refugees like myself are indebted to

and proud to call home.”

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

is the Australian Catholic Bishops

Delegate for Refugees.


New paper on human trafficking

& slavery released

“Human trafficking and similar forms

of exploitation affect every country

on earth. They flourish because of

society’s greed for cheap goods and

services and because it is so easy to

forget that those who meet these

needs are human beings with their

own innate God-given dignity.”


Vincent Long OFM Conv, Chairman

of the Australian Catholic Social Justice

Council, in his foreword to Human Trafficking

and Slavery: A response from Australian


The paper, the latest in the ACSJC’s

Catholic Social Justice Series, is written

by Christine Carolan, Executive Officer

of Australian Catholic Religious Against

Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH), and Sr

Noelene Simmons SM, ACRATH’s Project

Officer for NSW.

The paper looks at slavery and related

crimes in the modern world, at the Church’s

teaching, and at the international and

Australian laws that deal with this abuse.

The paper then discusses ACRATH’s work:

advocating on behalf of victims of human

trafficking, educating Australians, and

working alongside organisations here and

overseas to shut down human trafficking.

Co-author Christine Carolan said many

people do not realise that human trafficking

affects us in Australia. “There is the everpresent

reality of women who are trafficked

for sexual exploitation, but people are

also regularly trafficked into Australia in

industries such as agriculture, hospitality,

construction, mining and fishing.

“Many Australians are now asking

whether their clothing and food –

chocolate, for example – have been

produced by forced or trafficked labour.

ACRATH has campaigned successfully for

ethical sourcing of food and clothing.

“Forced marriage is another area where

young people, overwhelmingly young

women, need help and support. People often

don’t realise that forced marriage is illegal in

Australia and that help is available for those

who are facing that possibility.”

ACRATH has developed a set of study

notes that can be used for senior schools or

for any groups wanting to explore the issue

of human trafficking.

In his foreword, Bishop Vincent says

that ACRATH’s “tireless networking,

education, research, advocacy and

accompaniment have made a huge

difference for people who have been

trafficked and exploited in Australia.”

Human Trafficking and Slavery, Catholic

Social Justice Series No 79, is available

from the ACSJC for $A7.50. Order at







– Good Universities Guide





DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 3

CATHOLIC YOUTH CatholicYouthParra @cyp_parramatta @CatholicYouthParra

CYP caps off a big year in 2016

By James Camden

CYP Director

THE LIFTED Sports Day on 13

November brought together 240

young people from 21 parishes

across the Diocese. A total of 16 teams

took part in a round robin competition of

eight rounds in four sports at St Dominic’s

College, Kingswood.

The first Nepean Deanery Sports Day took

place in 2009. The day was envisaged as an

opportunity for the youth of the Nepean

Deanery to meet one another and interact

through sport.

The day has grown to include teams from

throughout the Diocese and has become one

of the longest running and most successful

post-WYD Sydney initiatives.

Thank you to the Flockers (the former

Penrith Parish Youth Group), their family

and friends for laying the solid foundations

the event now stands on, and to Michael

Ronchetti (Principal) and the staff of St

Dominic’s College for the ongoing use of

the venue.

In 2016, Catholic Youth Parramatta,

with the continued advice and support of

the Flockers, took responsibility for the

planning, promotion and implementation of

the now-named LIFTED Sports Day.

Congratulations to the final two teams who

made the nail-biting tie-breaker and to Our

Lady of Mt Carmel Parish, Wentworthville,

who in their debut year won the LIFTED

Sports Day Cup for 2016.


Home from the Front

A committed crowd of young adult leaders

gathered for the final Parra-Matters! of

2016 in late November. Twice a year the

monthly formation program re-groups at

the Institute for Mission (IFM) in Blacktown

for a reflective night of input and sharing.

The topic unpacked by Fr Paul Roberts,

Director of the IFM, and his team was ‘Jesus,

My Mirror, My 3-Fold Mission’.

Over the past two years, Parra-Matters!

has been held in more than 15 parishes and

will continue to offer localised formation

for youth ministry during 2017 while

celebrating the gifts and successes of local

youth groups from their ‘home base’.

What’s on the horizon?

Australia’s Catholic Bishops have announced,

and now invite, the Church in Australia to

engage in a ‘Year of Youth’ in 2018.

The LIFTED Sports Day brought together 240 young people from across the Diocese.

Marking the 10-year anniversary of WYD

Sydney 2008, the Year of Youth invites the

Church to nurture the physical, emotional

and spiritual well-being of young people.

The Year of Youth will begin with a

pilgrimage to the Australian Catholic

Youth Festival (ACYF) in Sydney from 7-9

December 2017 for an estimated 18,000

students, youth and young adults from

across the country.

Plans are underway to ensure that the

participation of a possible 3000 young

people from our Diocese in next year’s

ACYF will act as a launch pad for their

greater participation in parish life and the

broader mission and outreach of the Church

going into the Year of Youth.

Celebrating WYD success

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv hosted

an afternoon tea on 11 November in

appreciation of Chancery, Catholic

Education, chaplains and ministry staff who

played a role in the organisation of World

Youth Day 2016 in Krakow.

Bishop Vincent expressed his gratitude,

saying that WYD was important to the

youth life of the Diocese and gave special

thanks to Very Rev Chris de Souza VG EV

for representing him on the pilgrimage.

Executive Director of Schools Greg

Whitby said the venture had been a great

success and the collaboration between all

areas of the Diocese to bring such a large

group together was unique.

At the last Parra-Matters! For the year were (from left): Faith, Stephanie, Qwayne and Alyssa. Bishop Vincent with James Camden and Greg Whitby. WYD was a highlight of 2016.

The Joy of Christmas

is not in the presents, but being in

His presence

Christmas at St Patrick’s Cathedral – 1 Marist Place, Parramatta

Noël! Noël! on Monday 19 December at 7.30pm

The Brandenburg Choir will fill your heart with cheer and delight your family and friends

with a concert of beauty, fun and glorious music.

For further information and to purchase tickets visit www.brandenburg.com.au/concerts/

Christmas Eve Masses on Saturday 24 December

6.00pm (family Mass), 8.30pm, midnight (carols service with readings commence at 11.30pm)

Christmas Day Masses on Sunday 25 December

8.00am, 9.30am, 11.00am, 6.00pm

Reconciliation during Advent

Monday to Friday from 11.15am-12.20pm; Saturdays: 8.30am-9.00am

and 5.00pm-5.30pm; Saturday 24 December

from 8.30am-9.00am only

For Christmas Mass times in Catholic parishes across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains

go to the Diocese of Parramatta website – www.parracatholic.org or www.catholicoutlook.org

4 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org


Emilio sings and signs

for Wanderers

By Adrian Middeldorp and

Jordan Grantham


professional football (soccer) career

at the age of eight. Ten years later, his

prayers were answered on his 18 th birthday in

October this year. He signed his first professional

contract and joined the Western Sydney

Wanderers in the A-League.

The alumnus of Emmaus Catholic College

at Kemps Creek was an early supporter of the

Wanderers, cheering from the Red and Black

Bloc or ‘RBB’ at the age of 13.

“I love Western Sydney Wanderers, I was

there from the start. I was such a supporter,”

Emilio said.

West Ham United FC first noticed Emilio

during that time. The English Premier

League team flew him over to trial.

Emilio’s life-changing moment came

in Year 11, at the Nike Academy trial. He

displayed his left-footed attacking midfield

style, similar to superstars Isco (Real Madrid)

and David Silva (Manchester City).

“The date was 14 March 2015,” Emilio said.

“I knew I had to give it my all.

“I remember that day very fondly and my

name got called out and it all started from

there really.”

He made a powerful impression on the

football world as the youngest in the elite

squad. Emilio excelled at the prestigious

academy, based at St George’s Park, the

English National Team’s training ground.

“I knew the whole process and what it

consisted of – a few big players have gone

through and become professionals. Tom

Rogic is one of them.”

After the academy, Emilio faced heartbreak

when a deal with a Spanish club deal fell

through due to visa difficulties.

“At this point, I made the choice to come

back to Australia to clear my mind and

decide what I really wanted to do.”

A day after returning, the Wanderers

phoned Emilio. He impressed at the

youth squad training, and commenced a

professional contract to train and possibly

play in the top team. He feels lucky

to have started his career at home with

the Wanderers.

Faith and family are crucial to Emilio. He

describes them as vital to his success.

“In my family, faith is very, very big. It’s

something we look on in everyday life, in

every situation. We look at positives and

negatives, it must be because it’s meant to be

– we’re very strong believers in that.

“Personally, even my football is based on

my faith in God. I can do everything in him,

my strength lies in him as well.”

Several meaningful tattoos are on his right

arm. Roman numerals symbolise each of his

family members. The cross and his favourite

Bible passage represent his faith: “Let all that

you do be done in love” (1 Cor 16:14).

The power of that passage has been felt in

his life. “I had always believed in it, I believe

you do it with love, not because you’re forced

to, whether it be a job or anything like that.”

Emilio describes his faith as simple, strong

and based on daily prayer.

“Always before bed and before my games,

I like to make my own prayers and speak to

God myself. I also like to use the Our Father,

Hail Mary and I always have the rosary on

me. I like to keep it simple, short and sweet.

“It’s definitely something I have been

brought up with.”

Emilio’s faith also grew at Holy Spirit

Primary, St Clair, then at Emmaus College

and within his parish.

Emilio’s dedication was evident at school.

Emilio Martinez says he feels lucky to have started his career at home with the Wanderers.

Photos: Jordan Grantham.

Mrs Dominique Luke, Year 12 Coordinator

at Emmaus College, was Emilio’s year

coordinator twice. Emilio’s leadership

qualities, good grades and positive social

influence were clear to her.

Friendly staff v students football matches

excelled when Emilio played. “There were a

few good footballers in the staff and that’s the

type of student-teacher relationship there is

at Emmaus – that’s why a lot of students love

it there,” he said.

“I have my family to thank for that and

I’ve been brought up in a loving Catholic

community. I owe it all to that.”

Emilio Martinez is a confident and kind

young man. With his talent, strong resolve,

discipline, deep faith and a loving family, he

may just have what it takes to perform at the

highest levels of international football.

Emilio describes his faith as simple, strong and based

on daily prayer.


DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 5


Bringing Laudato Si’ to Life:

From Vision to Action

By Sr Louise McKeogh FMA

Social Justice Director


Catholic University’s campuses

at Strathfield on 10 November

and North Sydney on 11 November were

an opportunity to listen to and dialogue

with Columban priest and eco-theologian

Fr Sean McDonagh SSC.

He spoke of caring for creation and

bringing Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato

Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home) to

life within the context of parish life. In the

spirit of Laudato Si’ both gatherings were

not only opportunities to draw from the

experience of Fr Sean but also opportunities

for dialogue and learning.

Various parish programs and activities

were presented from across Sydney at the

North Sydney gathering. Fr Sean spoke

of his experience in the Philippines in the

Mindanao area with indigenous people

and the effect of deforestation and mining

on their communities, culture, livelihood

and environments.

Fr Sean also spoke of his vision for the

Church as he experiences the correlation

and integration between creation and the

sacraments. He envisions the need for

Eucharistic prayers on the care of creation.

He acknowledges the signs of the times

in the world that we are living in; in terms

of creation it is no longer ‘business as usual’.

“We in the developed world are using more

of the earth’s resources than is sustainable for

our daily living to continue,” Fr Sean said.

What was clear was the diversity of

creative approaches being taken by parishes

in care for their common home and facing

the challenges of a new paradigm in terms of

caring for creation.

Sally Coppini from St Madeleine’s Parish

at Kenthurst reflected on the diversity of

responders to Laudato Si’ from the wider

community. She especially appreciated

the input from professionals at the Royal

Botanic Gardens and their support for the

leadership of Pope Francis in this area.

In responding to Fr Sean, the Director

of Catholic Earthcare Australia, Jacqui

Remond, presented a powerful model of

implementing Laudato Si’.

Jacqui facilitated a series of weekly Lenten

discussion groups on Laudato Si’ in her local

parish Manly-Pittwater. The parishioners

appreciated the importance and necessity of

taking up Pope Francis’ call to bring Laudato

Si’ to life.

This has resulted in an integrated

parish approach with a focus on liturgical

celebrations such as seasons of creation,

World Day of Prayer for Creation and the

feast of St Francis. This is combined with

practical actions within the life of the parish

and community.

In conclusion, Anne Lanyon from the

Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology and

Justice said Pope Francis reminds us of the

need for an integral ecology in Christian life

in his message for the World Day of Prayer

for the Care of Creation in September.

In the Year of Mercy just concluded,

Pope Francis proposed adding the care and

protection of creation to the traditional list

of corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

As a spiritual work of mercy, the Holy

Father said, “care for creation requires a

grateful contemplation of God’s world.

While as a corporal work it calls for simple

daily gestures which break with the logic of

violence, exploitation and selfishness.”

Fr Sean McDonagh’s visit was

organised by the St Columban’s Mission

Fr Sean McDonagh SSC is a Columban priest and ecotheologian.

Photo: courtesy Catholic Archdiocese of

Sydney/Giovanni Portelli.

Society in partnership with Australian

Catholic University, Catholic Earthcare

Australia, Justice and Peace Office,

Archdiocese of Sydney, Earthkin, Sisters

of Mercy Parramatta.

The Annual Mass of

the Holy Innocents

Open Day

Discover what a Mercy education can do for your daughter

at the OLMC Parramatta Open Day on

Sunday March 12, 2017 10am – 2pm

Principal’s welcome at 10.00am and 12.00pm

Expanding beyond what we know we can be


Principal Celebrant

Most Rev Richard Umbers, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney

Our Lady of the Rosary Church

8 Diana Avenue, Kellyville

Wednesday 28 December 2016 at 11am

followed by a Rosary procession to the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy

Innocents, 8 Greyfriar Place, Kellyville.

Lunch available. Please bring a plate to share.

Everyone is welcome to pray for the protection of all human life

(especially the unborn) from conception to natural death.

Enquiries please phone (02) 9629 2595.

6 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org


New national response to importance of safeguarding



has been established by the Catholic

Church in Australia to develop,

audit and report on compliance with professional

standards to protect children and

vulnerable people.

Catholic Professional Standards (CPS)

Limited represents a new national Church

response to the importance of safeguarding

vulnerable people. It will be responsible

for setting the highest standards to ensure

the safety of individuals involved with

the Church at all levels and engaging with

Catholic service providers.

CPS will:

• Develop new standards for the

protection of children and vulnerable

adults across Church entities,

particularly in areas where there are no

current relevant standards;

• Audit and report on the compliance of

each Church authority against the new

professional standards; and

• Provide education and training regarding

the new standards.

The Australian Catholic Bishops

Conference and Catholic Religious Australia,

which represent more than 200 independent

Catholic entities across Australia, made the

joint announcement of the new company

during the bishops’ plenary meeting with

religious leaders at Mary MacKillop Place in

Sydney on 22 November.

Member representative of CPS and the

President of Catholic Religious Australia,

Sr Ruth Durick OSU, said the new entity

sets a new standard for the Catholic Church

in Australia.

“I am confident that CPS will direct and

govern best practice for all Church agencies

to lead in the area of safeguarding children

and vulnerable people,” Sr Ruth said.

“Today’s announcement marks a

significant development in how the Church

in Australia operates. Independently of

Church, CPS will establish, implement,

govern and audit professional standards.

This is a first.

“It is a decisive step forward for the Church

as we move beyond the Royal Commission

into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual

Abuse. We look ahead with safety, respect

and authenticity at the core of all we do in

the community.”

Speaking at the launch, Archbishop Mark

Coleridge, Vice-President of the Australian

Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), said

CPS was the Church’s considered response

to a crisis that had been heartbreaking for

many people.

“I believe that Catholic Professional

Standards will continue the cultural change

that has commenced through the work of

the Truth, Justice and Healing Council,”

Archbishop Coleridge said.

A Board of Directors is being established

by the ACBC and CRA. The board will

operate and function independently of

the Church.

Three directors have been identified and

another four appointments to the board are

to be made. A Chief Executive Officer will be

recruited and appointed during 2017.

The three director designates are:

• The Hon Geoffrey Giudice AO, who was

president of the Australian Industrial

Relations Commission from 1997-2009

and the inaugural president of Fair

Work Australia (now the Fair Work

Commission) from 2009-February 2012.

• Ms Patricia Faulkner AO, who was

secretary of the Department of

Human Services in Victoria with

this portfolio, including the child

protection system, and in 2015-

16 was a deputy commissioner of

the Victorian Royal Commission

inquiring into family violence.

• The Hon John Watkins AM, who was

a member of the NSW Parliament

between 1995 and 2008 with ministerial

portfolios including education, police

and transport, serving as deputy premier

for three years and is currently CEO of

Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.

It is expected that CPS will be up and

running by early 2017.

The work of the National Committee for

Professional Standards will be absorbed into

the new entity over time. There will be no

change at present to state-based professional

standards offices.

For further information visit


Office for Safeguarding &

Professional Standards

The safety and wellbeing of all children

and other vulnerable people in the

care of the Diocese of Parramatta is

our priority and a continual part of

our ministry. Members of the public

are invited to contact the Office for

Safeguarding & Professional Standards

with any concerns or questions

about the response of the Diocese to

complaints of child sexual abuse.

Diocesan Helpline

Tel (02) 8838 3470



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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 7


Jacinta Sullivan said the St John’s community is all about making people feel truly welcome.

Photos: Jordan Grantham.


Love led Jacinta all the way to Riverstone

By Jordan Grantham


husband just after he spent Christmas

in Bethlehem. The two young travellers

were staying in an Israeli kibbutz in 1980.

Little did Jacinta know that her journey had

just begun.

Today, Jacinta is parish secretary of St

John the Evangelist Parish at Riverstone.

She has lived a life dedicated to family and

service. Born of a rich cultural heritage, her

faith has guided her across the world and

continues to inspire her in the Riverstone

Parish community.

Jacinta was born in Basel into a large and

devout Swiss Catholic family, with Italian

heritage on her father’s side. A polyglot, she

speaks French, German, Swiss and Italian.

In her early 20s, Jacinta took a break from

work at Zurich Insurance to travel across

Egypt, Israel and Europe.

In Egypt, she visited Alexandria and

travelled to historic Luxor, taking in the

sights and reflecting on life.

She made it to Israel and after travelling

through Jordan, she was based near

Haifa in a kibbutz, a communal centre

where young travellers work in exchange

for accommodation.

There she met Peter Sullivan, who was

also travelling during Christmas-tide in

Israel in 1980. He had just made it back

from Christmas in Bethlehem and was only

staying in the kibbutz for two days.

Peter was assigned orange picking while

Jacinta worked in the kitchen. Despite her

little English and their separate work duties,

they instantly connected. After changed plans

and rearranged flights, they travelled Europe

together, met Jacinta’s parents and married.

Today, Peter is a firefighter and Jacinta’s

“right-hand man”. Their whirlwind romance

took Jacinta across the world from the

kibbutz farm near Haifa to the semi-rural

area of Riverstone.

Many Maltese families had small farms

and acreages in the area, which have been

blessed on occasion by the Parish Priest, Fr

Zakaria Gayed.

Jacinta said the area is becoming more

multicultural. “There are some young

families – Filipinos, Indian, Sri Lanka, Fijian

and Chinese.”

The changing community makes the

parish an encounter between old and new.

Fr Zakaria Gayed said the renovations to the church were made possible due to the generosity and

involvement of parishioners.

The historic parish dates back to 1865,

when the Catholic Church purchased the

property. The current church building

dedicated to St John the Evangelist dates

back to 1904, when Cardinal Moran laid the

foundation stone.

Minor renovations have just been

completed, including polished floorboards

and grand pews from the former Poor Clare

Convent next door to the church.

Fr Zakaria said this was made possible

because of the generosity and involvement

of the parishioners.

“The parish is like a small family,”

Jacinta said.

Parish groups include the Catholic

Women’s League, St Vincent de Paul Society,

the parish play group, and a family group

which has continued for 22 years, bringing

together parish families for BBQs and

mutual support.

The Poor Clare Sisters taught at St John’s

Primary School, which continues to educate

children of the parish. The school has

regular Masses.

“The community is all about making

people feel truly welcome,” Jacinta said.

The parish arranges big morning teas

after Mass and people often stay another

hour to chat. A BBQ is organised for

each 3rd Sunday of the month and a

local Filipino choir adds beautiful music

to the Mass.

The historic parish is alive and well,

continuing into the future with a changing

community and growing area.

Running Alpha in 2017?

Alpha is a very effective means of bringing

people to the starting point of faith, an

encounter with Jesus Christ.

If your parish is running Alpha in 2017 or

considering this option, please contact

the Pastoral Planning Office.

We have a range of handy hints and

parishes interested in networking with

those already experienced in Alpha.

Please contact

Richard McMahon

Director of Pastoral Planning &


Tel (02) 8838 3459


8 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org

Life is a gift for Father Zakaria

By Jordan Grantham


on 23 December as a “Christmas gift

to my Mother,” he said with a laugh.

The Parish Priest of St John the Evangelist

Parish at Riverstone has given his life as a

gift to God, both in Egypt where he was born

and in Australia.

Fr Zakaria was born in El Minya, south

of Cairo, which is close to where the Holy

Family fled into Egypt. The Holy Family

sheltered in St Mary’s Cave, Samalout, near

his hometown.

He arrived in Australia in 1999,

bringing with him the experiences and

heritage of Coptic Catholic spirituality.

He believes that every place has its own

special ‘gift’, whether it is the Jordan, Mt

Sinai or Riverstone.

Growing up in Egypt, Fr Zakaria devoted

himself to his studies at St Leo the Great

Coptic Catholic Patriarchal Seminary in

Cairo, which caters to all Coptic Catholic

dioceses. He was ordained by Cardinal

Antonios Naguib, Emeritus Coptic Catholic

Patriarch of Alexandria, while he was Bishop

of Minya.

Fr Zakaria’s family is entirely in Egypt,

and he is now uncle to 21 nephews

and nieces.

He has dispensed the sacraments to

many in his family, including Baptism,

Chrismation (Confirmation) and the

Eucharist. He has also dispensed the

Sacrament of Matrimony to family

members, which requires a priest’s

blessing to be valid in the Eastern Catholic

Churches, unlike in the Western Church,

which requires only a deacon.

Fr Zakaria attests that, “when you grow up

immersed in a particular form of liturgy, it

remains in your blood”.

He prays the Divine Office (Liturgy of

the Hours) in the Coptic Catholic form,

which consists of seven canonical times for

prayer. The Divine Office is the mandatory

daily prayer for priests and religious.

Primarily, it consists of the psalms and is

typically prayed at four different periods

of the day (Morning Prayer, Office of

Readings, either Terce, Sext or None, and

Evening Prayer).

Fr Zakaria has a devotion to St Therese

of the Child Jesus, St Francis of Assisi,

St Anthony of the Desert and St George.

In Egypt, Fr Zakaria served in a parish

dedicated to St George.

When he first came to Australia, he knew

only a few words of English. Despite the

communication barrier, Fr Zakaria arrived

on his birthday in 1999 and was appointed


Father Zakaria Gayed arrived in Australia in 1999, bringing with him the experiences and heritage of Coptic Catholic

spirituality. Photo: Jordan Grantham.

parish priest of St Mark’s Parish in Prospect.

He was incardinated into the Diocese of

Parramatta in 2010.

He has used his experiences with different

cultures to connect with others. He believes

that “when you visit a country, something

touches your heart”. Wherever he goes, the

people he has ministered to “are very much

devoted to God,” he said.

A warm ‘people-person’, Fr Zakaria

appreciates the opportunities God has given

him in the priesthood to strengthen the faith

of his flock. “God gave me a gift for pastoral

work. I appreciate it,” he said.

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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 9


We wish you a Mercy Christmas

By Ben Smith, Director

Life, Marriage & Family Office

NOW THAT THE Holy Doors are

closed and the Year of Mercy is over,

does that mean that we can forget

about the importance of mercy? Not at all.

The seasons of Advent and Christmas

present us with a great opportunity to

cement the graces we have received from

this special year. But isn’t mercy more of a

topic for Lent and Easter? What have the

seasons of Advent and Christmas got to do

with mercy?

Pope Francis has emphasised that, “We

need constantly to contemplate the mystery

of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity,

and peace. Our salvation depends on it.”

(Misericordiae Vultus, 2)

So mercy has an ongoing significance

beyond the Year of Mercy and also beyond

the seasons of Lent and Easter.

Mercy is highly relevant to the seasons of

Advent and Christmas as “Jesus of Nazareth,

by his words, his actions, and his entire

person reveals the mercy of God.” (MV, 1)

He is “the bridge that connects God and

man.” (MV, 2)

God’s mercy is revealed in every moment

of Jesus’ life. The nativity scene, therefore,

connects us with God’s mercy. What the

nativity shows is that God was prepared to

empty himself of his divinity to become a

baby who was born in a stable and slept in a

hay-filled livestock feeding station. God has

heard the cry of his people.

This joyful scene captivated the hearts of

those who witnessed the first Christmas.

This joy can be experienced by us in front

of a nativity scene allowing us to open “our

hearts to the hope of being loved forever

despite our sinfulness.” (MV, 2)

The nativity scene can help to remind us

that God is reaching out to us just like the

father of the prodigal son.

St Therese of Lisieux expressed this truth a

different way: “A God who makes himself so

little can only be love and mercy.” This is really

important for children or grandchildren to

grasp and Christmas creates a wonderful

opportunity to present this message.

If Jesus is the bridge that manifests the

mercy of God then Advent and Christmas

represent one support pillar and Lent and

Easter represent the other support pillar.

Both of these pillars have a special

connection with Mary. A pregnant Mary

joyfully sang of the mercy of God in her

Magnificat on her way to meet her cousin St

Elizabeth. The birth of Jesus gave her great

joy as well.

She also experienced the mercy of God in

As Catholics death is

both a time of hope

and sadness. You will

feel the full range of

emotions; our faith can

be challenged at this

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The nativity scene can help to remind us that God is reaching out to us.

sorrow when she stood by the cross on Good

Friday. On Easter Sunday she experienced

the joy of seeing Jesus again after he had

conquered sin and death.

In summary, Mary was the first witness to

the revelation of God’s mercy in the person

of Jesus Christ. By accompanying Mary on

her journey with Jesus in the mysteries of

the rosary we can keep the mystery of mercy

close to our hearts and the hearts of our

children and grandchildren.

Christmas is a special time for children. It

is a time in which one of them is the focus.

It is important that all the trappings of the

Merry Christmas and best wishes to All

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mercy of God who descended to earth in the

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offer us eternal life in heaven.

Ben Smith can be contacted at the

Life, Marriage & Family Office:








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10 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org


Saint John Paul II:

‘work is for man, not man for work’

By Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv

THIRTY YEARS AGO, on 26 November

1986, St John Paul II visited the

Diocese of Parramatta to address

a large crowd of workers gathered at the

Transfield factory in Powers Road, Seven

Hills. This large engineering factory hosted

12,000 people when it was temporarily

cleared of much of its machinery.

The Pope opened his address with a

reflection on his early life as a quarry and

factory worker.

“These were important and useful years

in my life. I am grateful for having had

that opportunity to reflect deeply on the

meaning and dignity of human work in its

relationship to the individual, the family, the

nation, and the whole social order.”

His experience and reflection led him

to “proclaim again” his “own profound

conviction” that “human work is a key,

probably the essential key, to the whole

social question, if we try to see the question

really from the point of view of man’s good.”

The world of work has changed

dramatically since St John Paul II spoke to

the workers at Seven Hills.

The disruption of earlier patterns of

employment as a result of technological

changes and globalisation in Australia and

elsewhere have been profound.

The Church must respond to the changing

economic realities and speak on behalf of

those who have been prejudiced or ignored

by these changes.

How should the Church respond? The

answer to this question might start with the

address given by St John Paul II at Seven

Hills. He recognised the positive aspects of

economic change, but warned against “ways

of thinking” and proposed a way forward:

“In the past, the Church has consistently

Catholic Social Teaching

opposed ways of thinking which would

reduce workers to mere ‘things’ that could be

relegated to unemployment and redundancy

if the economics of industrial development

seemed to demand it.

“No one has a simple and easy solution

to all the problems connected with human

work. But I offer for your consideration two

basic principles.

“First, it is always the human person

who is the purpose of work. It must be said

over and over again that work is for man,

not man for work. Man is indeed ‘the true

purpose of the whole process of production’.

Every consideration of the value of work

must begin with man, and every solution

proposed to the problems of the social order

must recognise the primacy of the human

person over things.

The Catholic Church has developed a body of teaching that that seeks to identify and

address a range of social issues. The origins of modern Catholic Social Teaching, with

its emphasis on work and economic relations, are found in Pope Leo XIII’s great social

encyclical of 1891, Rerum Novarum. The connection between faith and work is illustrated

by a passage in St John Paul II’s 1981 encyclical commemorating the 90 th anniversary of

Rerum Novarum:

“In order to achieve social justice in the various parts of the world, in the various

countries, and in the relationships between them, there is a need for ever new movements

of solidarity of the workers and with the workers. This solidarity must be present

whenever it is called for by the social degrading of the subject of work, by exploitation

of the workers, and by the growing areas of poverty and even hunger. The Church is

firmly committed to this cause, for she considers it her mission, her service, a proof of

her fidelity to Christ, so that she can truly be the “Church of the poor”. (Laborem Exercens,

paragraph 8, italics in original.)

St John Paul II’s encyclicals in 1981 and 1991 (Centesimus Annus) commemorating Rerum

Novarum and a range of his other writings have established the framework for, and

much of the content of, modern Catholic Social Teaching on work, workers’ rights and

economic systems.

Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued to apply and develop this

teaching in the context of the emerging issues of the early 21 st Century.

Saint John Paul II visited the Transfield

factory at Seven Hills in 1986.

St Pope John Paul II in the popemobile with Bishop Bede Heather, the first Bishop of Parramatta.

“Secondly, the task of finding solutions

cannot be entrusted to any single group

in society: people cannot look solely to

governments as if they alone can find

solutions; nor to big business, nor to small

enterprises, nor to union officials, nor to

individuals in the work force. All individuals

and all groups must be concerned with both

the problems and their solutions.”

St John Paul II’s message in 1986 is

particularly relevant to the work and

economic issues that confront Australia

in 2016.

First, we have to be clear about our values:

we must recognise the primacy of the

human person.

Second, the formulation of solutions

to contemporary issues must be based

on cooperation, and not a contest,

between sectional interests and groups:

solutions cannot be solely determined by

economic considerations.

The ‘Brexit’ vote in Britain in June to leave the European Union and the election of Donald

Trump as US President in November owe much to a widespread disillusionment with the

personal, family and social impact of economic changes over the past few decades.

It is true that other factors came into play in the decisions, but without the loss of faith

in contemporary economic policies, many believe that those decisions would not have

been made.

In Australia, we have not had such a cathartic event, but the public debate has been

changed. Recently, we have seen substantial public discussion about the exploitation of

low-paid workers, particularly foreign workers.

Over recent years there has been an understandable interest in improving productivity,

but often the proposals to improve productivity are, in the eyes of the workers

involved, at least, proposals to cut wages, reduce reasonable working conditions and

increase job insecurity.


DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 11

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

A gift to parishes and schools in the Diocese ‘All I have is yours’ (Luke 15:31)

By Very Rev Paul Roberts EV

Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation


Conv walked out through St Patrick’s

Cathedral’s Jubilee of Mercy

Holy Door for the final time on 13 November,

representatives of parish and school

communities walked ahead of him, each carrying

a large canvas of Rembrandt’s famous

painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son.

This was a gift prepared by the Diocese’s

Institute for Mission intended to also

coincide with the Diocese’s 30 th birthday.

With each gift canvas there is a display

easel and resources to help facilitate

meditation and reflection for groups in our

parishes and schools.

In parish communities for example,

the canvas might be displayed during

a children’s sacramental program for a

parents’ guided meditation or during Lent

with pieces of reflection.

It might be a moveable display around

school classrooms or a periodic display in

public spaces.

Or it might help in senior school students’

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

retreats or with the children’s version of

the reflections for primary school theme

preparations or in parishes’ children’s

liturgy programs.

A special display frame is provided

to attach to the top of each easel to help

begin people’s appreciation of Rembrandt’s

painting. Anyone is able to access both the

full reflections and the children’s resource

that were provided with the gift canvasses:


While this gift was given at the closing of

the Cathedral’s Jubilee Door of Mercy, it was

not given as a gesture of closing or ending!

Rather, as was highlighted during the Mass,

it was given as a thanksgiving.

And it was given to signal our

commissioning from the Year of Mercy

onwards. The Mercy Year now sends us

into the world as a people more convinced

of what the Father wished his older son

in the Gospel parable to know: ‘All I have

is yours!’

In fact, each gift canvas shows those

words spoken to the older son: “All I have

is yours.” (Lk 15:31). It might seem unusual

when looking at the canvas to see that it is

Parish and school communities each received a large canvas of Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Return of the

Prodigal Son. Photos: Art in Images.

these words to the older son that have been

included, because in the painting, the father

is obviously dealing with the younger son!

But thinking about the parable, it is in

fact the younger son, in his deep need,

who is actually the one now able to hear

those words.

The parable is unfinished. We don’t know

if the older son becomes vulnerable enough

to really receive and know those words in

his heart. But in Rembrandt’s painting, that

older son watches as the father, having been

so wounded by the reckless younger son,

nevertheless images this ultimate truth of

God’s selfless tenderness. The younger son

now receives all that the father has and all

that the father is!

With the Jubilee Door at our backs and its

mercy in our bones, we go out as a people

who have received; as a people of thanks

and sure hope; as a people with a unique

freedom to share with the world, as we live

and breathe God’s promise that ‘All I have

is yours!’


12 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org




The Way of Mercy – endings and beginnings

Richard McMahon

Director of Pastoral

Planning & Implementation

ISN’T IT WONDERFUL how often after

Jesus offers healing, he invites people to

continue on their journey. “Pick up your

mat and walk” or “Go, and sin no more.”

The encounter with the God of Mercy is

not an end in itself, but rather a doorway

into a renewed life of being merciful to self

and others. The Eucharist offers the greatest

of these gateways, inviting us to be taken

up with the gifts of bread and wine, to offer

our whole selves, so that we may be broken

from our old life and made whole as we are

shared with the world through union with

Jesus Christ.

A similar experience was shared as

we gathered for the closing of the Holy

Door in St Patrick’s Cathedral last month,

echoing the closing of Holy Doors across

the dioceses of the world, before Pope

Francis closed the final Holy Door in St

Peter’s the following week. Was it an end or

a beginning?

One significant approach to the Year of

Mercy in our Diocese involved the Way

of Mercy. It was a journey of over three

months, with a large Cross and Relics of

two beloved saints, St Mary of the Cross

MacKillop and St Teresa of Kolkata.

The Cross and Relics visited every one of

our systemic schools and was at the heart

of many gatherings of groups of parishes,

schools and chaplaincies.

The Way of Mercy extended to hospitals,

other Catholic schools, aged care

communities, celebrations of migrants and

refugees, celebrations of family, of youth, of

our catechists, of the environment, and to a

prison and retreat centre, all aspects of our

life sharing mercy, needing mercy, or both.

The conclusion of the Way of Mercy

coincided with the conclusion of the Year

of Mercy in our Diocese, marked by the

closing of the Holy Door.

Representatives from our parishes,

schools, chaplaincies and other centres,

gathered on Sunday 13 November to

participate in the final movement of the

Way of Mercy as it journeyed from Old

King’s School to the Cathedral.

While local parish and school

communities gathered in the Cathedral for

prayer and testimony, the diocesan Mercy

representatives attended a final session in

the Cathedral hall.

Richard McMahon, Director of Pastoral

Planning and Implementation, addressed

the group, thanking them and their

communities for being ambassadors of

mercy, and providing fertile soil for the

Holy Spirit to offer the abundant grace of

God’s mercy to all who experienced the

Cross and Relics.

In particular, the team that had

coordinated the Way of Mercy was thanked,

including the drivers of the trucks, and

those who had liaised with the schools

and parishes and other communities

throughout the journey.

Very Rev Paul Roberts EV, Episcopal Vicar

for Evangelisation and Pastoral Planning,

then addressed the representatives, again

thanking them for their involvement.

A gift of a print depicting Rembrandt’s

The Return of the Prodigal Son on a large

canvas was offered to each community by

the Institute for Mission, along with a set of

reflections for use with the image.

This will be a practical measure for our

communities to incorporate into their

planning for the coming year, so that the

spirit of the Year of Mercy is not lost.

In the Mass that followed, Bishop Vincent

Long again encouraged the congregation

not to see the closing of the Holy Door as an

end to our efforts to be merciful, but rather

that through this year, God’s mercy has

seeped into our bones and can be carried

forth into 2017 and beyond, being faces of

God’s mercy to others.

Images, videos and stories of the Way of

Mercy can be found at


Catherine McAuley Westmead joined with Parramatta Marist High, Sacred

Heart Primary School and Mother Teresa Primary School in a meaningful

and reverent procession with the Cross and Relics.

The school community at Loyola Senior High School welcomed the Cross

and Relics.

The Cross and Relics journeyed to St Nicholas of Myra Parish at Penrith.

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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 13


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

A Christmas Story

The summer

holidays of

childhood are

unforgettable: Santa

photos, the smell of

chlorine or salt from

days swimming in

the backyard pool

or beach, afternoon


mozzies and,

of course, the

heat! But if you’re like me, your childhood

memories might have included pirates and

princesses, convicts and cowboys, moon

landings and mysteries.

That’s because I was lucky enough to discover

a love of reading from a very young age and

that’s why each year, I challenge students

across the Diocese of Parramatta to make

reading a real feature of their summer break.

Through the Executive Director’s Summer

Reading Challenge we are encouraging

students to READ, READ, READ! The more

a student reads, the more times they can

enter, and the more chances they have of

winning one of four iPad minis (where you can

download some amazing e-books to read).

As an educator, it’s hard not to love stories.

They are such a great way to learn and to

teach. During Christmas, many of our students

will be learning about the story of the birth of

Jesus. It’s such a familiar story that perhaps

those of us who know it well don’t always stop

to consider what it teaches us about God’s

love for us.

Every year in the December heat, students

from St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty

Hill, put on a large-scale nativity play. The

whole school gathers in the playground for

a moving reenactment of the extraordinary

events leading up to the birth of Christ,

complete with real camels, costumes and a

‘borrowed’ baby playing the role of Jesus. This

special storytelling is such a powerful way to

share the good news of the incarnation.

In the same spirit, I wish our students,

staff and families a holy Advent and

joyful Christmas.

More than 80 Principals gathered for the annual Masterclass.

Everything’s connected at Principals

Masterclass 2016

The annual Principals Masterclass,

which is the key professional learning

experience for principals and senior

leaders from the education office, was

held on 20 and 21 October at Rooty

Hill RSL.

Executive Director Greg Whitby

opened the two-day conference

under the system theme for the year,

‘Everything’s Connected’.

“Everything we do is connected,” Greg

said. “Especially as Catholic leaders we

are connected and learning with, and

from, each other.”

Throughout the Masterclass, participants

attended presentations from three

Principal speakers who shared their

personal stories of leading and learning.

model, Steven ensured that students

were learning written and oral

communication, collaboration and

agency in every project.

“You can now get a job at Google

without a college degree because you can

problem solve,” Steven said.

“A lot of people call 21 st Century skills

‘soft skills’, but they are essential skills

for success.”

Anne Miles is the Principal of

McAuley High School, an integrated

Catholic high school in South

Auckland, NZ, which received

the Prime Minister’s Supreme

Award for educational excellence

and the award for excellence in

engaging the community.

The most important challenge for

Anne was to get students to own

their knowledge, have pride in their

Greg Whitby

Executive Director

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Local libraries are also a great resource

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Steven Zipkes is the former Founding

Principal of Manor New Technology

High School and current Principal of

Cedars-International Next Generation

STEAM High School in Austin, Texas, in

the US.

He noticed that in traditional classrooms,

the students were “bored out of their

minds” and he knew that the time of the

“sage on the stage” imparting knowledge

to students was over.

Developing an integrated curriculum

and using a project-based learning

Principals and leaders had the opportunity for professional sharing.

14 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org

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

Former principals Fran Jackson and Brad Campbell, pictured with Bishop Vincent Long and Greg Whitby, were

farewelled at the Masterclass dinner. Photo: Alphonsus Fok.

achievement and live out the McAuley

charism in their lives.

“The most important thing for me is, have

we developed the faith of our young people,”

Anne said.

Former student and now teacher at Our

Lady of Lourdes Primary, Baulkham Hills,

Jaymi Winters spoke about how a mission

immersion experience to the Philippines

and pilgrimage to World Youth Day shaped

her faith and work as a teacher.

“Are they resilient? Can they go out into

the world to make a difference as Catherine

McAuley did?”

Greg Miller is the newly appointed

founding Principal of St Luke’s Catholic

College, which will open in the Diocese of

Parramatta next year commencing with

Kindergarten to Year 6 at Marsden Park.

He said in leading St Luke’s he will need to

take risks.

“This is not an experiment, but we will need

to look at best practice and use gut instinct

to take the next step,” Greg said.

Principals also heard from former Vice

Captain of Gilroy Catholic College, Castle

Hill, Christopher Lee who gave a powerful

testimony of how his teacher, principal

and faith helped him overcome grief and

personal challenges.

Chris went on to co-found the Conviction

Group to empower young men to

make better decisions and change their

perspective on health and wellbeing issues.

At the end of the second day, Executive

Director Greg Whitby and guest

presenters Steven Zipkes, Anne Miles and

Greg Miller joined a panel discussion on

school transformation.

The Principals Masterclass dinner saw five

principals farewelled with video tributes

from their school communities and

citations. Farewell and congratulations to:

• Fran Jackson, St Joseph’s Primary,


• Brad Campbell, Emmaus Catholic

College, Kemps Creek;

• Moya McGuiness, Sacred Heart Primary,

Westmead (unable to attend);

• Elizabeth Ricketts, St Aidan’s Primary,

Rooty Hill (unable to attend); and

• Robyn Meddows, McCarthy Catholic

College, Emu Plains (unable to attend).

Watch via



Steven Zipkes from Cedars-International High School participated in a panel on transformation.


DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 15


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

St Aidan’s student has ‘write’ priorities

Miriam Warwick-Smith, a Year 5

student at St Aidan’s Primary, Rooty

Hill, has been named a runner-up in

the annual What Matters? Writing

Competition run by the Whitlam

Institute. This year the institute received

a record-breaking 3870 entries from

across NSW, the ACT and Tasmania.

Eleven year-old Miriam impressed the

judges with the maturity of her work,

addressing the dangers of technology on

human relationships. “People need to

realise that their reliance on technology

is affecting their ability to be sociable,”

Miriam wrote. As the runner up for Years

5/6 in NSW/ACT, Miriam was invited

to participate in a Young Writers Forum

run by The Writing Workshop and also

received a $200 prize.

Danijela’s winning selfie with Year 6 teacher, Mrs Woodward.

World Teachers Day selfie competition winner

Hundreds of students across the Diocese of

Parramatta have honoured their teachers

in celebration of World Teachers Day

by taking a selfie with their favourite

teacher. After careful consideration by a

panel of judges, Danijela Hader from Year

6 at Corpus Christi Catholic Primary,

Cranebrook, was selected as the winner for

her selfie with teacher, Mrs Woodward. “I

have had Mrs Woodward for two years,”

Danijela wrote. “She always encourages me

to learn, to try again and to be the best me.

Thank you.”

World Teachers Day is celebrated each year

to recognise teachers and the outstanding

work they do each and every day for the

children in their care.

Miriam Warwick-Smith (front centre) with finalists in the Whitlam writing competition.

Game on for engaging learning

Students at Sacred Heart Primary,

Westmead have shown they are ‘game’ for

learning in new ways. Given a scenario

in which earth is being destroyed by a

meteorite, students worked collaboratively

and creatively to find a new world,

determine how to get there, survive its

conditions and use a range of fun apps and

tools such as Minecraft and Wix websites to

convince the world that their plan to save

only 30 people is the best solution.

Watch via https://www.youtube.com/


“Mr Baker’s smile, happiness, laughter and love makes Kindergarten fun every day. He loves us and teaches us to

always be the best we can be.” Olivia Vella with Mr Baker, Our Lady of the Angles Primary, Rouse Hill

Catholic education staff and leaders recognised for 2570 years of service. Photo: Alphonsus Fok.

Catholic education recognises more

than 2570 years of service

On 27 October, 66 leaders and staff from

Catholic schools and the education office

were recognised for a collective 2570 years of

service and 50 years of leadership at a special

ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral. The

Staff Recognition Awards were presented

by Episcopal Vicar for Education and

Formation, Very Rev Christopher de Souza

EV, and Executive Director Greg Whitby.

Awards were presented to those

teachers and staff who have worked

in Catholic education for 25 years or

more and to leaders who have reached

their 10th year in leadership positions.

More than 1000 leaders and staff also

received service awards for up to 25

years at presentations at their local

school communities.

Students present their work at their school symposium.

Celebration of Catholic education

Congratulations to the following school communities on their anniversaries this year:

20 years

Bethany Catholic Primary, Glenmore Park

St John Paul II Catholic College, Nirimba & Schofields Campus, Quakers Hill

30 years

Bede Polding College, Windsor South, McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains,

St John Vianney’s Primary, Doonside

50 years

Catherine McAuley Westmead

60 years

Sacred Heart Primary, Westmead, St Bernadette’s Primary, Castle Hill

130 years

Holy Trinity Primary, Granville

16 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org


Jeff the NRL ref sin bins youth group conflict

By Jordan Grantham


Jeff Younis thrilled Catholic youth

at Parra-Matters! recently, giving

new meaning to ‘sin bins’, ‘Hail Marys’,

and conversions.

Each month, Catholic Youth Parramatta

organises Parra-Matters! at a different

parish for youth group members across the

Diocese. Corpus Christi Parish, Cranebrook,

and youth group Corpus Christi Collective –

C 3 hosted Parra-Matters! on the evening of

27 October.

Jeff ’s sincere passion for the game and

wealth of personal experience made the talk

‘Conflict Management 101’ entertaining,

practical and informative.

Jeff knows how to manage conflict after

15 years in NRL and officiating at more than

300 games.

The current Touch Judge of the Year is a

Catholic family man, bringing his wife and

children to participate in the presentation.

Jeff underlined the importance of

strong youth ministry. “Don’t undersell

or underestimate what you do,” he told

the gathered youth leaders and

participants. “You have a very important

role in people’s lives.”

He said an overlooked solution to

reducing conflict was preventing it, as

much as possible.

“The most effective way to manage conflict

is to avoid it,” Jeff explained.

Avoiding conflict requires the dedication

to practice and prepare. In NRL refereeing,

that means practising how to talk, what

information to communicate and how to

perform when fatigued.

It requires arriving early, wearing the

uniform and warming up. Much of this

is applicable to ministry, such as

thoroughly researching and preparing

talks, arriving well in advance and being

professionally presented.

Before the match starts, Jeff makes an

effort to learn the players’ preferred form

of address, whether it is a nickname or

particular pronunciation.

“People have a better response when you

know their name,” he said.

But when the inevitable conflict arises

in complex situations and close-knit

teams, the helpful acronyms ALARM and

DOPE summarise Jeff ’s advice to resolve

conflict situations.

ALARM stands for Awareness (of

potential issues), Listen (to conflicting

parties), Acknowledgement (of grievances),

After 15 years in NRL, Jeff Younis knows how manage conflict. Photo: Jordan Grantham.

Response (to each group), Move on

(mentally and physically).

DOPE stands for Delivery (of leadership

perspective with clarity), Objective (that

unites both parties), Position (the people

involved in relation to possible further

consequences), Exit strategy (to leave the

current conflict behind).

Jeff demonstrated these principles

of conflict management with a serious

refereeing situation made humourous by

having his teenage daughter stand in as the

‘high tackler’.

Sr Rosie Drum MGL, CYP Assistant

Director, offered scriptural solutions to

conflict, such as the parable where Christ

gives directions on correcting individuals

privately, then with another a superior figure

and, finally, with the whole community in

the Gospel of Matthew 18:17.

Jeff concluded by praising NRL players

for their skill and discipline, as well as their

contribution to the community and many

charitable causes. He encouraged the youth

present to share their faith through generous

action and then through word.



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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 17


Mother Marilla Aw OSB the new

Global Superior of Tyburn Nuns

By Jordan Grantham


the new Mother General of the

Tyburn Sisters, the global Benedictine

congregation of the Adorers of the

Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmarte.

Growing up in Christ the King Parish,

North Rocks, she and her sister, Mother

Seraphim Aw OSB, responded to God’s call

to devote their lives to him in perpetual

adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the

charism of their order.

Mother Marilla was elected on 29 August,

during the order’s General Chapter. “I’m

still getting over the shock of being elected,”

she said.

Mother Marilla had been focused on their

new convent at St Loup-sur-Aujon in the

Diocese of Langres, 28km from where their

foundress, Mother Marie Adele Garnier,

was born.

“France has changed. Travelling has

changed. There is a spiritual battle between

light and darkness,” she said. Challenges to

faith and morals, and recent terror attacks,

cast a cloud over France.

The cultural climate is similar to

when Mother Garnier founded the

congregation in Montmarte, Paris. Antireligious

persecution, including the Law of

Associations, pressured the sisters to leave

France in 1901.

Mother Marilla’s leadership will be

focused on the “stability and unity” of the

congregation, including promoting their

foundress’ cause for canonisation.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints

named Mother Garnier Servant of God

and on 3 December, a Solemn Mass was

celebrated to open the cause in the Cathedral

of Langres Diocese, France.

Mother Garnier lived a dramatic

life; witnessing a Eucharistic miracle

and escaping her deranged fiancé, who

plunged scissors into his chest as she

ended their relationship.

In 1899, the sisters took first vows in the

crypt of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, at

the Altar of St Peter, the same altar where St

Ignatius of Loyola took his first vows and a

place where St Therese of Lisieux prayed. The

altar had been translated from the ancient

Church of St Peter, Montmartre.

The sisters fled to London, founding a

convent next to the ‘Tyburn Tree’, the gallows

where many Catholics were martyred. It

is a place of pilgrimage to the Shrine of the

Tyburn Martyrs and Mother Garnier’s tomb.

St Oliver Plunkett, Primate of All Ireland

and Archbishop of Armagh, was the last

martyr hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

His relics and many others are displayed for

veneration at Tyburn Convent’s Shrine.

Now the Tyburn Nuns are a global

congregation, with convents in Scotland,

Ireland, Australia, Peru, NZ, Ecuador,

Colombia, Rome and France.

The Australian convent is in Riverstone, a

semi-rural area in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Almost one-third of the congregation’s

vocations have come from Australia.

The sisters dedicate their lives to

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, where

the Eucharist is exposed on the altar in

a golden monstrance, prayed to with

complete devotion.

This adoration is perpetual, ideally

around the clock. Each sister prays half

an hour in daytime and one night hour.

Celebrating their silver jubilee of consecrated life: Sr Paula Volchek, Sr Margaret Kozub and Sr Grace Roclawska.

Photo: Giovanni Portelli.

Sisters who are Sisters: Mother Marilla Aw OSB and Mother Seraphim Aw OSB (right). Photo: Jordan Grantham.

Younger sisters pray more night hours and

rest the night after.

This is not practical for the smaller Tyburn

convents. They spend most of the day in

adoration, prayer and work in the garden.

Mother Marilla’s hope for the congregation

is even “deeper love for the Eucharist, which

comes to the essence of vocation,” that they

may “prefer nothing to the love of Christ.

Christ that shines through the Eucharist,”

she said.

Mother Marilla and Mother Seraphim’s

childhood was an unlikely seedbed for a

vocation to religious life. The family had an

Asian Buddhist background.

After migrating to Australia, the parents

converted to the Catholic Faith.

Sisters are blessed by his love

By Sr Margaret Kozub CSFN


men and women to look at the past

with gratitude, to live the present

with passion and to embrace the future with

hope, and we do it.

On 29 October, three Sisters of the Holy

Family of Nazareth from Marayong, Sr

Grace Roclawska CSFN, Sr Paula Volchek

CSFN and I, celebrated our silver jubilee of

consecrated life.

When I was young, I had my dreams

and plans and they were not connected

with religious life at all. I loved my life and

hanging around with my friends and didn’t

always make smart choices.

When I was 17, a friend invited me to go

on a retreat run by nuns. It was a profound

experience of God’s presence and love. It was

a life-changing experience.

After a period of discernment, at age 19

I entered the congregation of the Sisters of

They were among the first Chinese students

at Carlingford West High School.

“It was tough,” Mother Seraphim said.

“There was a lot of racism.”

Soon Mother Seraphim will depart

Riverstone to become Mother Prioress

of the St Loup Monastery, replacing

Mother Marilla.

Firm faith has taken the Aw family on

an incredible journey. Now two daughters

lead one of the most significant women’s

Benedictine Congregations.

The sisters live Mother Garnier’s spirit,

as Blessed Columba Marmion described

their foundress: “The special characteristic

of your Mother is heroic confidence in the

midst of impossibilities.”

the Holy Family of Nazareth and started

my religious life: the real adventure in

which I was surrounded by the merciful

love of the Father, guided by the Holy Spirit

and embraced by the love of the greatest

friend ever – Jesus. And always under the

protection of the Holy Family.

Now here I am, 25 years in religious

life and still happy, full of joy and God’s

blessings. I let go of many things and

dreams, but I have received so much. I am

sure of his love and I’m grateful for that

every day. God’s grace always was ahead of

all my efforts.

Every vocation is a pure gift of God’s

love. God is not calling us because we

are special, perfect and holy. He calls us

because he wants us and he is able to bring

out the best in us.

And after all these years I know there

is only one place I can put my roots to be

happy and joyful in my consecrated life.

This place is God’s heart.

18 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org

Helping to make a difference in young students’ lives

By Princess Pacleb and

Marielle Dominguez

THERE IS SOMETHING heart-warming

about walking into a classroom

full of gleaming faces, full of hope

and happiness.

As student catechists, we are not just

teaching younger students about the

compelling Word of God, but making

a difference in these students’ lives. The

knowledge gained from these lessons has

deeply impacted us and will always remain

with us.

On 4 November, St Clare’s Catholic

High School hosted a Special Religious

Education (SRE) Celebration Day that

recognised the works of many young

students in secondary schools and how

they are spreading the Word of God to

their local state primary schools.

We were joined by representatives from

Delany College, St Columba’s Catholic

College, Loyola Senior High School,

Catholic Youth Parramatta, Bishop Vincent

Long OFM Conv and Cecilia Zammit, the

Director of the Confraternity of Christian

Doctrine (CCD).

The day was filled with many people

opening their hearts to God with songs,


games, and speeches about being a catechist.

It was a very enjoyable and encouraging day.

We are sure everyone had been inspired

in some way, either by the catechists’

overwhelming passion for spreading the

Word of God or by the positive reaction

of the public primary school students,

who constantly wanted to learn more

about Scripture.

Most of these students had no prior

exposure to the Christian faith besides the

SRE classes, so it was a truly wonderful

opportunity for catechists and their students

to strengthen their love for God.

During the day, Sr Rosie Drum MGL

taught us a song called Waves of Mercy that

was accompanied by actions. The line “Every

move I make, I make in you” complements

the real meaning of what it is to be a catechist.

Bishop Vincent also paid a visit to

commend all SRE teachers on their hard

work and enthusiasm.

Looking back on the year, we, along

with many others, can confidently say that

participating in catechetics has enriched our

faith and sense of belonging towards others

and our catechist team.

In our classes, we were able to learn from

the students and be reminded of how far we

have come. Through craft, prayer and song,

Bishop Vincent commended all SRE teachers on their hard work and enthusiasm.

we were able to connect with all the students,

despite our age differences.

All of this would not have been possible

without Catholic Education Diocese

of Parramatta and the Confraternity of

Christian Doctrine, which enabled student

catechists to share their knowledge and

experiences with the younger generation.

The catechist experience can be compared

to the party game Pass the Parcel, wherein

each layer reveals a new gift of happiness and

knowledge that is cherished.

Every Wednesday in our Scripture classes

we continue to unwrap this gift and discover

more about our faith.

In the words of Mother Teresa: “I’m a little

pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is

sending a love letter to the world.”

Princess Pacleb and Marielle Dominguez

are Year 10 student catechists.

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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 19


German community still

welcoming the stranger

By Jordan Grantham

VISIT ST RAPHAEL’S Chaplaincy in

Blacktown, and leave Western Sydney

behind, as you step into a slice

of Germany.

St Hedwig Village is an important part

of the community, founded for retirees

and the elderly.

European carved statues adorn the chapels

and spaces, intercom announcements are

in German and English, and traditional

German hymns contribute to a thoroughly

Germanic atmosphere.

The residents will greet you with a cheerful

“Hallo!” or if they are from Bavaria, “Grüß

Gott!” meaning ‘May God bless/greet you’.

The residents of St Hedwig Village gather

for Mass in either the St Hedwig Chapel,

St Raphael’s Church, or the ‘link’ area,

resembling a chapel.

Two young volunteers are at Mass. They

are on an overseas volunteering program

that originated as a substitute to German

National Service.

St Raphael’s chaplaincy partners with St

Christophorus’ Church and chaplaincy in

the Archdiocese of Sydney. Their chaplain

is Fr Roland Maurer, of the Diocese of


The store is overflowing with a variety of Catholic items.

Photo: Jordan Grantham.

The patronal feast of St Raphael in

September is an important community

celebration, which coincides with the

dedication day of the St Raphael Chapel.

The day includes ‘volkstanzen’, traditional

folk dancing with lederhosen and

dirndl dresses.

St Hedwig’s Day is normally celebrated

mid-October with a spring fair.

Soon the community will celebrate

Epiphany on 6 January with traditional

Sternsinger, which are children choristers

dressed as the three magi.

On a regular basis, about 50 people attend

Sunday Mass at St Christophorus, with some

people travelling from Sydney CBD and as

far as Canberra and Port Macquarie for

special occasions.

There are regular German language

classes on Monday nights in Croydon,

preparing students for the Sprachdiplom,

which allows students to pursue tertiary

study in Germany.

The community began in Australia with

post-World War II migrants. Many of them

were refugees from central and eastern

Europe, when German communities were

evacuated or forcibly removed.

In St Raphael’s Chapel, there is a

moving memorial to deceased ancestors of

20 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org

Chaplain to the German Catholic community Fr Roland Maurer celebrates Sunday Mass for about 50 people.

Photo: Jordan Grantham.

community members. It commemorates

people who died in Yugoslavia, Romania,

Russia, Finland and Germany.

It is in a similar period and context

that Kirche in Not, Aid to the Church in

Need, started.

Fr Maurer emphasises the importance of

remembering the origins of the community

and the chaplaincy.

“When we started off the idea was

to welcome the stranger, the Germans

migrating to Australia, to receive them here

and provide them with support by spiritual

and practical means. Welcoming the

stranger is still something we should never

forget,” Fr Maurer said.

Germany has welcomed hundreds of

thousands of refugees over the years.

People feel obliged to “not shut the door,”

Fr Maurer said.

He compared the recent refugee crisis to

the fall of the Iron Curtain and destruction

of the Berlin Wall.

Fr Maurer described the chaos of the

reception of East German refugees. “School

gyms were turned into camps, and people

stayed in family homes,” he said.

After World War II, “mayors would have

to speak to farmers” about having East

German refugees staying and “you had

Catholics in Protestant places” and people

speaking a variety of different languages.

This exacerbated the disorientation after

the refugee intake, Fr Maurer said. There has

not been the same level of disruption with

the recent refugee crisis.

The German Catholic community first

settled in the Hunter Valley, changing

over the years. The children of the first

migrants have become part of mainstream

Australian culture.

Now the community, especially at St

Hedwig Village, welcomes non-Germans

to live with them and appreciate their

cultures, continuing their mission to

‘welcome the stranger’.

CMP Store queen of devotional items

By Jordan Grantham


Mary, Queen of the World operate

the CPM Store in Jamieson Street,

Granville. The store is overflowing with

a variety of Catholic items, from the cute

to the sublime, from large statues to tiny

pieces of jewellery.

Goods are imported from across the

world, sold locally and exported to some

countries in the Pacific.

Devotional items by the tens of thousands

line the shelves. Individuals will come to

Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy

Penrose Park

Fatima Day

A day of prayer in the spirituality of the Fatima apparitions.

Come and learn from Our Lady how to follow Jesus.

Exposition – 10am, Holy Mass – 11am, 1.30pm – procession and devotions

at Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Principal Celebrant: Rev. Marek Dutkiewicz,

Order of St. Paul the First Hermit

Friday, 13 January 2017

Principal Celebrant: Rev. Dominik Karnas,

Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel

Christmas at our Shrine

24 December: 11.30pm Christmas Carols, 12am Midnight Mass in the Shrine

Church (in English) 12am Midnight Mass in the Bethlehem Chapel (in Polish)

25 December: 11am Mass in the Shrine Church (in English)

and Mass in the Bethlehem Chapel (in Polish)

31 December: 11pm Adoration of the Most Blessed

Sacrament followed by Midnight Mass (in English)

cherish many of them as markers of life’s

important moments: Baptism, Reconciliation,

Confirmation, First Holy Communion,

Marriage, Ordination and Requiem.

CPM Store regularly supplies parishes

with wafers, sacramental wine and candles.

At the front are classic films with Catholic

themes starring Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid

Bergman, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman,

Charlton Heston, Peter O’Toole, Richard

Burton, Orson Welles and Omar Sharif.

Statues, vestments, sacred brass and

vessels, rosary beads, holy cards, incense,

CDs and books are also available.



A statue of St Teresa of Kolkata sold recently

following her canonisation and a 1.6m high

statute of Our Lady of Sorrows at the Foot of

the Cross arrived at the start of the week.

The Missionary Sisters of Mary Queen are

nicknamed ‘Queenies’. Saigon in Vietnam

is their global headquarters. St Therese of

Lisieux and St Louis de Montfort are their

patron saints.

CMP Store is located at 31 Jamieson Street,

Granville, tel (02) 9682 1581. It is open

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

from 9.30am–4.30pm; Saturday 10am–

4.30pm; closed on Tuesday and Sunday.

St Hedwig Village is an aged care facility located in Blacktown.

We are seeking a volunteer driver for our regular bus outings usually 2 per month.

The person must have an excellent driving record and hold a current LR (light rigid) or

equivalent licence.

For further information please contact the Manager on

8822 9903 or forward resume to fax 9672 4458 or email


Pauline Fathers’ Monastery

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

Email: paulinefathers@yahoo.com.au Website: www.penrosepark.com.au “Caring for the Aged is our Commitment”

House of Welcome finds a new home in Granville

By Jordan Grantham


AL housing provider will lease

expanded premises for its headquarters

from the Diocese of Parramatta,

starting in February 2017.

The House of Welcome is a work of St

Francis Social Services, operated by the

Conventual Franciscans. It began as a project

of the NSW Ecumenical Council in 2002 with

the provision of emergency accommodation

for refugees on temporary protection visas.

In 2003, the Franciscan friars bought and

refurbished a drop-in centre at Carramar

co-ordinated by Fr Jim Carty SM. The centre

received no government funding and was

supported by Church groups, including the

Diocese of Parramatta.

Holy Family Parish at East Granville and

the Diocese of Parramatta made the offer to

lease 199 The Trongate, a former convent of

the Sisters of St Joseph.

Lyn Harrison is the CEO of St Francis

Social Services. “The difference this will

make to our ability to provide support

to asylum seekers and refugees is

unimaginable,” Lyn said.

“We are delighted that the community of

Holy Family Parish is welcoming us and we

look forward to working with the community

of Granville.”

The new centre for the House of Welcome

will provide caseworkers, visa assistance,

material support, skills development courses

and community connection programs.

There are 23 properties given to the House

of Welcome to accommodate asylum seekers

and refugees. Some of these properties are in

the Diocese of Parramatta.

“I am thrilled with this new opportunity

for the House of Welcome,” Lyn said. “We

have worked for more than 15 years in

cramped shared office space in Carramar.

“This leasing agreement provides us with

the opportunity to grow our services for

people in need exponentially.”

Advocacy is part of the House of

Welcome’s mission and will be expanded in

the larger facilities. The House of Welcome

is independent of government funding and

will take advantage of this independence to

advocate for asylum seekers.

Recent government policy changes will see

a number of people seeking asylum denied

access to Medicare and Centrelink, which

the House of Welcome will respond to.

“The need for the services we can

provide has never been greater,” Lyn

said. “We will grow our services to reach

Merry Christmas and best wishes to All

May God Bless you for a safe and Happy New Year

Thank You All For Your Support

Closed on all Christmas and New Year Public Holidays


more of the demand being created by

government changes.”

Nine staff are employed. In the spirit of

the House of Welcome, staff make a point

of individually greeting and welcoming

newcomers to the centre.

The building provides 12 offices, which

can be used for counselling and casework

sessions. “Our team is currently juggling with

only one casework room, so that difference

alone will be tremendous,” Lyn said.

“The premises will also allow more space

for community gatherings. We offer weekly

luncheons to foster a sense of welcome and

belonging and these will be able to grow.”

The facility provides space to offer English

lessons in a room without interruption and

the opportunity to hold advocacy meetings

and debriefs with volunteers.

More than 100 volunteers assist the House

of Welcome, though more are always needed.

The former chapel will become a

community room for gatherings. The

cathedral ceiling gives the room a great

ambience. Nearby is a small courtyard that

will be a pleasant space for visitors, when

renovated and cleaned.

The House of Welcome is urgently in need

of support to make the new premises ready

to receive clients.


Lyn Harrison: “I am thrilled with this new opportunity for

the House of Welcome.” Photo: Jordan Grantham.

St Francis Social Services will be raising

funds and seeking volunteers who can

assist with maintenance projects, kitchen

installation, carpeting, painting, etc.

To make a contribution to ensure this

service can reach more people in need,

tel (02) 9727 9290 or visit http://www.


Put those you love

in the hands

of those who care

Child Dental Benefit Scheme:

Free dental treatment for children between 2-17 years*





• Health Fund Patients

No gap for check-up / clean / fluoride

• Non-Health Fund Patients

Special introductory offer

($150 check-up / clean / fluoride

• Pensioners and Healthcare card holders:

Special discount

• Veteran Affairs: Claims available online

•Special Offer for Tooth Whitening

• Interest free payment plans for eligible patients

* Conditions apply

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

Sydney (02) 9519 5344 | Parramatta (02) 9687 1072

wnbull@wnbull.com | www.wnbull.com.au


DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 21


Dominic Dimech: returning the

basic gift of faith

By Jordan Grantham

DOMINIC DIMECH, 24 years old,

is one of the leaders of the youth

group BasicGift at Holy Spirit Parish,

St Clair. The middle child of four in a

Maltese family, he is an articulate and affable

young man completing a doctorate in

philosophy at the University of Sydney.

Dominic said it is important to share your

faith. “The Catholic Faith, in a sense, is a

communal faith,” he said.

His journey to become leader of BasicGift

began when a friend at St Dominic’s

College, Kingswood, invited him to gain

more experience of the Faith.

Now he is in a position to give back.

Dominic aims to help others with the Faith,

the same way that he was enlightened.

Dominic’s goal of giving back to the

community is part of his general ethos

of generosity, which also influences his

professional life.

His academic inspirations include

Prof Helen Beebee, a Hume scholar and

honorary professor at the University of

Sydney. Dr Beebee is “such a clear and

great writer” as well as a generous teacher,

according to Dominic. This academic

relationship increased his interest and

dedication to his study.

The 18 th Century Scottish philosopher

David Hume is considered a sceptic

regarding spirituality and religion, but

Dominic argues that people can be religious

and deeply scholarly.

In his dissertation, Dominic is

examining whether Hume “fails to

appreciate the difficulty of his situation”.

Hume’s difficulty is that he denies possible

justification for belief in external objects

but also implies the existence of external

objects as unproblematic.

The International Hume Society

Conference was held earlier this year

at the University of Sydney and was an

opportunity for Dominic to meet many

of these scholars and be present in their

academic discussions.

This scholarly tradition and the academic

life of universities owe much to the Catholic

Church, which founded many of the oldest

universities in the world. These include the

Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Paris,

Sapienza (Rome) and Bologna. University

academic dress is derived from the dress of

the clergy, as all early students were clerical,

at least in minor orders.

For Dominic Dimech, it is important to share your faith. “The Catholic Faith, in a sense, is a communal faith,” he said.

Photo: Jordan Grantham.

“The Catholic Church has a great tradition

of philosophers,” Dominic said.

Significant Catholic philosophers

include St Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine

of Hippo, Boethius, Bacon, Abelard,

Erasmus, St Thomas More, Descartes,

Pascal, Bl. John Henry Newman and

Pope Benedict XVI, to give just the tip of

the iceberg.

Dominic recommends St John Paul

II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio, or Faith and

Reason, as a must read. Michael Dummett

was a prominent metaphysician and convert

at the University of Oxford, who also

inspires Dominic.

These figures grappled with faith in their

works and can inspire and strengthen

readers. St Augustine’s influence can

be found in BasicGift at St Clair where

the parish is in the pastoral care of the

Augustinian Friars.

BasicGift meets each Sunday. Dominic

organises several types of events, including

reflective Connect evenings. Communal

dinners and jam nights are also scheduled

throughout the year. The group provides

mutual support to young members of the

parish, especially in difficult times. BasicGift

provides ongoing support to Augustinian

Volunteers Australia, helping refugee and

Indigenous youth.

Together, Dominic and BasicGift youth

group return the gifts of grace, faith and

friendship that they have received.


Mass for World Day of the Sick

in acknowledgment of carers and those for whom they care

Including the Sacramental Rite of Anointing

of the Sick and Prayers for Healing

Thursday 9 February 2017 at 10.30am

Principal Celebrant Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv

Bishop of Parramatta

St Patrick’s Church,

51 Allawah Street, Blacktown

Mary, Queen of the Family Parish


Please join us for a refreshments at the conclusion of the Mass.

For further information please contact Michelle Davis

T (02) 4734 3150 | E Michelle.Davis@health.nsw.gov.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:


Introductory Session

Ministers of

the Word


Ministers of


Communion to the

Sick & Dying

Altar Servers &


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


22 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org


Workers in the vineyard

By Jordan Grantham

The Prelature of the Holy Cross and

Opus Dei, known as Opus Dei, is an

institution of the Church, a way of

sanctification in daily work and in the fulfillment

of the Christian’s ordinary duties.

St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer

founded Opus Dei in 1928 in Madrid,

Spain. Opus Dei arrived in Australia in

1963 at the invitation of Cardinal Gilroy,

initially establishing Warrane College at

the University of NSW.

Since the early 1990s, members of Opus

Dei have organised youth formation

activities in Western Sydney, which grew

into the Lowana Study Centre in Penrith.

The centre opened in 2008.

Members of Opus Dei have also started

other vibrant study centres for students,

tertiary institutions and schools, which

have a significant contribution to the

Church in the Diocese of Parramatta.

These organisations are not governed

by Opus Dei but are influenced by

its charism.

Famously, Kenthurst Study Centre

hosted Pope Benedict XVI before World

Youth Day in 2008. Images capture

the special moment of the Holy Father

celebrating Mass in the centre’s beautiful

neo-gothic chapel, with mahogany reredos

and renaissance images for altarpieces.

The vocation to Opus Dei is for single

and married, young and old, priests and

lay people.

Elizabeth Sofatzis is a young member of

Opus Dei, who found God was calling her

to join, and live a life solely devoted to him.

“I got to know Opus Dei more deeply

when I was a university student and was

attracted by the idea that I could find

God in my study, which I did a lot of back

then!” Elizabeth shared.

In the Diocese of Parramatta, members of Opus Dei gather for Mass for the feast of St Josemaría Escrivá,

Friends involved in Opus Dei inspired her

with their example. “They were really putting

the message of Opus Dei into practice – they

were hard workers, they clearly loved God

and others, and tried to help all types of

people to get closer to him,” she said.

Opus Dei members come from all walks

of life. Whether working in a factory, or a

surgery, all people can find sanctification of

their life and work in Opus Dei.

This sanctification comes from

incorporating significant prayer into the life

of members. Daily Mass, daily rosary, silent

prayer and other foundational Catholic

prayers and practices guide members’ lives.

“We make our own time to pray every day,

we receive the sacraments regularly, have

weekly talks (circles), spiritual direction, an

annual course, an annual retreat, time set

aside each month for prayer and reflection

(recollection),” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth now lives at the Lowana Study

Centre, which offers many programs

to encourage the human and spiritual

formation of students.

Study programs, talks, tutoring,

camps, community service and social

activities benefit primary, secondary and

tertiary students. Parallel to the spiritual

program, professional development

and service opportunities are offered to

people in the workforce.

The dedication to service is impressive.

Nursing homes in Penrith, St Marys

and Rooty Hill have all benefitted from

visits from the young women of Lowana.

Lowana participates in other charitable

activities such as Operation Christmas

Child, Vinnies Night Patrol and an ongoing

Wagga Service Project.

For Opus Dei, whether in international

projects, local student support or ongoing

professional development, responding to

the world’s challenges begins and ends

with Christ’s mission for the salvation

and sanctification of souls. St Josemaria

wrote in his popular work The Way,

“These world crises are crises of saints.

God wants a handful of men ‘of his own’

in every human activity. And, ‘pax Christi

in regno Christi – the peace of Christ in

the kingdom of Christ’.”




The Schoenstatt Sisters would like to invite

you to join them for an evening of carol

singing at the shrine. Please bring a blanket or

chairs and some snacks if you wish. Children

are encouraged to come dressed as angels

and shepherds. You are welcome to enjoy a

picnic dinner in the grounds before the carols

commence. From 7.30pm-8.30pm at Mt

Schoenstatt, 230 Fairlight Rd, Mulgoa.



Christmas concert with massed choir, Penrith

Symphony Brass, harp, handbells, solo artists,

Amy Johansen organ and Robert Ampt

conductor. Join in congregational carols,

experience the thrill of Handel’s Hallelujah

Chorus. Donations accepted: families $30 &

individuals $10. Starts 7.30pm in St Finbar’s

Church, 46 Levy Street, Glenbrook.



New Zealand soprano Madison Nonoa will

join the voices of the Brandenburg Choir for

this year’s performance of Noël! Noël! in St

Patrick’s Cathedral. The program includes

choral folk melodies, much-loved carols,

rousing 16 th Century hymns, and other rare

musical delights. Starts 7.30pm in St Patrick’s

Cathedral, 1 Marist Plc, Parramatta. Book

online: www.brandenburg.com.au


The principal celebrant for the 23 rd annual

pro-life Mass will be Sydney’s Bishop

Richard Umbers. Mass at 11am at Our Lady

of the Rosary Parish, 8 Diana Ave, Kellyville,

followed by a rosary procession to the

Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Innocents for

devotions and benediction. A luncheon will

be provided – please bring a plate to share.

Inquiries (02) 9629 2595.

For more events please go to:




Rebecca Pincott Michael Bolton

Serving the Parramatta Diocese since 1967

Australian Family Owned & Operated


9484 3992



“The most beautiful

and visually

compelling film

I have ever seen. I did

not want it to end.”

Kim, Brisbane.

Filmed and Edited by

Michael Luke Davies

A unique inside portrait of

the world of the Tyburn Nuns.

“This film takes you into

another realm…”

What is life in a cloistered Benedictine

community really like? Let the Tyburn

Nuns take you to their 9 monasteries

around the world. Witness the nuns’ holy

life of prayer and work, centred on the

Eucharist, in this remarkable film.



or send cheque/money order for $25

payable to:

Tyburn Priory, 325 Garfield Road East









DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 23

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