The official publication of the Diocese of Parramatta | www.catholicoutlook.org
VOLUME 19, DECEMBER 2016
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).
THE BISHOP’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv
THE BISHOP'S DIARY – DECEMBER 2016 & JANUARY 2017
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,
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
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,
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
is to be found in
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
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
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
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,
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.
THE BISHOP’S CHRISTMAS
SOCIAL JUSTICE ...................................... 3, 6
CATHOLIC YOUTH ......................................4
NEWS & EVENTS .........5, 7, 11, 17, 22, 23
LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY .....................10
YEAR OF MERCY .................................12-13
CONSECRATED LIFE .................................18
CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN
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
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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
ANNOUNCEMENT BY the
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.”
THOSE ARE THE WORDS of Bishop
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
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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 3
CATHOLIC YOUTH CatholicYouthParra @cyp_parramatta @CatholicYouthParra
CYP caps off a big year in 2016
By James Camden
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
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
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
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
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
NEWS & EVENTS
Emilio sings and signs
By Adrian Middeldorp and
EMILIO MARTINEZ DREAMED of a
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,”
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
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
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
TWO GATHERINGS AT Australian
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
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
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
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
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
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
NEWS & EVENTS
New national response to importance of safeguarding
NEW INDEPENDENT company
has been established by the Catholic
Church in Australia to develop,
audit and report on compliance with professional
standards to protect children and
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.
• 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
“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
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
“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
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
For further information visit
Office for Safeguarding &
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.
Tel (02) 8838 3470
GUIDE TO THE ROAD AHEAD
The Government has recently shifted the incentive for
saving via super – so it’s important to understand which
tax-advantages super offers over other investment options.
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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.
ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST
Love led Jacinta all the way to Riverstone
By Jordan Grantham
JACINTA SULLIVAN MET her future
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
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
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
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
Jacinta said the area is becoming more
multicultural. “There are some young
families – Filipinos, Indian, Sri Lanka, Fijian
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
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,”
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
The Poor Clare Sisters taught at St John’s
Primary School, which continues to educate
children of the parish. The school has
“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.
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
FATHER ZAKARIA GAYED was born
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
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
Fr Zakaria’s family is entirely in Egypt,
and he is now uncle to 21 nephews
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
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
LIFE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY
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
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
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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
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Playing some nice traditional Christmas
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mood. The lyrics also help to educate the
children to help them be aware of the loving
mercy of God who descended to earth in the
form of a babe to free us from our sins and
offer us eternal life in heaven.
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10 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org
NEWS & EVENTS
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
“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
“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
“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
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
First, we have to be clear about our values:
we must recognise the primacy of the
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
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
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
AS BISHOP VINCENT LONG OFM
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
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
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
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
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
12 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org
YEAR OF MERCY
The Way of Mercy – endings and beginnings
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
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
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
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
photos, the smell of
chlorine or salt from
days swimming in
the backyard pool
or beach, afternoon
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
More than 80 Principals gathered for the annual Masterclass.
Everything’s connected at Principals
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
Executive Director Greg Whitby
opened the two-day conference
under the system theme for the year,
“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
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
PS: if you haven’t finished your Christmas
shopping why not consider a book for
the children and teenagers in your life?
Local libraries are also a great resource
in encouraging reading and often have
excellent school holiday programs. Curl up
with a book yourself and be a reading role
model. Happy reading!
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
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,”
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
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
“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
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
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).
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.
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
Students present their work at their school symposium.
Celebration of Catholic education
Congratulations to the following school communities on their anniversaries this year:
Bethany Catholic Primary, Glenmore Park
St John Paul II Catholic College, Nirimba & Schofields Campus, Quakers Hill
Bede Polding College, Windsor South, McCarthy Catholic College, Emu Plains,
St John Vianney’s Primary, Doonside
Catherine McAuley Westmead
Sacred Heart Primary, Westmead, St Bernadette’s Primary, Castle Hill
Holy Trinity Primary, Granville
16 CatholicOutlook DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 www.catholicoutlook.org
NEWS & EVENTS
Jeff the NRL ref sin bins youth group conflict
By Jordan Grantham
RUGBY LEAGUE STAR referee
Jeff Younis thrilled Catholic youth
at Parra-Matters! recently, giving
new meaning to ‘sin bins’, ‘Hail Marys’,
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
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
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
Before the match starts, Jeff makes an
effort to learn the players’ preferred form
of address, whether it is a nickname or
“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
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
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.
ST PAULS BOOKS and GIFTS CENTRE
and CHAPEL OF ST MARY MACKILLOP
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We have beautiful books for children
telling them the story of the first Christmas,
liturgical diaries and religious calendars,
nativity sets, candles, beautiful icons,
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statues and framed pictures of the
Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and the saints.
Keep Christ in your Christmas
with a beautiful religious gift from
ST PAULS BOOKS AND GIFTS CENTRE
238 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
Ph: 02 9126 8912
DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 17
Mother Marilla Aw OSB the new
Global Superior of Tyburn Nuns
By Jordan Grantham
MOTHER MARILLA AW OSB is
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,”
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,
“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
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,”
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
POPE FRANCIS ASKED consecrated
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
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
Firm faith has taken the Aw family on
an incredible journey. Now two daughters
lead one of the most significant women’s
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
THERE IS SOMETHING heart-warming
about walking into a classroom
full of gleaming faces, full of hope
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
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
The day was filled with many people
opening their hearts to God with songs,
CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
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
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.
Diocesan Development Fund
Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
growing needs of the
institutions and agencies within
the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta
More than one good reason
to buy a Father Mac’s
A Father Mac’s Heavenly Pudding adds a
delicious treat to your table. Handmade,
with quality ingredients and gluten free
option, the Puddings also make
All surpluses go to much
and charities, locally
The Diocesan Development Fund Catholic Diocese of Parramatta (DDF) is not subject to the provisions of the Corporation Act 2001 nor has it been examined or approved
by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Deposits with the DDF are guaranteed by CDPF Limited, a company established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for this purpose.
We welcome your investment with the DDF rather than with a profit oriented commercial organisation as a conscious commitment by you to support the Charitable,
Religious and Educational works of the Catholic Church.
Neither the DDF nor the Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Parramatta are prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority;
contributions to the DDF do not obtain the benefit of the depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959; the DDF is designed for investors who wish to promote
the charitable purposes of the DDF.
Order directly through
our Alstonville Kitchen
on 02 6628 5474
or buy online at
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
THE MISSIONARY SISTERS of
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
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
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.penrosepark.com.au “Caring for the Aged is our Commitment”
House of Welcome finds a new home in Granville
By Jordan Grantham
NSW’S LARGEST TRANSITION-
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
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
MEDICAL & DENTAL CENTRE
more of the demand being created by
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.
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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 21
NEWS & EVENTS
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
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
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
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
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
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
Together, Dominic and BasicGift youth
group return the gifts of grace, faith and
friendship that they have received.
SAVE THE DATE
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:
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
NEWS & EVENTS
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
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
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’.”
17 CHRISTMAS CAROLS AT THE
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.
18 MUSIC & READINGS FOR
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.
19 NOEL! NOEL! CHRISTMAS
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
28 MASS OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS
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:
ALBERT & MEYER
Rebecca Pincott Michael Bolton
Serving the Parramatta Diocese since 1967
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A unique inside portrait of
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“This film takes you into
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Eucharist, in this remarkable film.
or send cheque/money order for $25
Tyburn Priory, 325 Garfield Road East
RIVERSTONE NSW 2765
DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 CatholicOutlook 23