Catholic Outlook Magazine Winter 2021

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M A G A Z I N E<br />

The Year of St Joseph – time to be receptive to God’s plans | Being a friend to yourself and others<br />

Sorting out your kid’s friendships | Book giveaway for Grandparents’ Day<br />

Why Ordinary Time is not ordinary<br />

Ordinary Time | <strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2021</strong>

M A G A Z I N E<br />

The Year of St Joseph – time to be receptive to God’s plans | Being a friend to yourself and others<br />

Sorting out your kid’s friendships | Book giveaway for Grandparents’ Day<br />

Why Ordinary Time is not ordinary<br />

The official publication of the Diocese<br />

of Parramatta<br />

Imprimatur and Publisher:<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

Bishop of Parramatta<br />

(02) 8838 3400<br />

PO Box 3066,<br />

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750<br />

bishop@parracatholic.org<br />

www.catholicoutlook.org<br />

Editor & Vicar for Communications:<br />

Br Mark O’Connor FMS<br />

(02) 8838 3400<br />

PO Box 3066,<br />

North Parramatta, NSW, 1750<br />

comms@parracatholic.org<br />

Communications Manager:<br />

Christina Gretton<br />

Communications Officer:<br />

Mary Brazell<br />

Nihil Obstat:<br />

Fr Wim Hoekstra<br />

Accounts:<br />

Alfie Ramirez<br />

(02) 8838 3437<br />

alfie.ramirez@parracatholic.org<br />

Printing:<br />

IVE Group Australia Pty Ltd<br />

All material in this publication is copyright and<br />

may not be reproduced without permission of<br />

the publisher. 44,750 copies are printed and<br />

distributed to 47 parishes and more than 80<br />

schools, after school care centres and early<br />

learning centres in Western Sydney and the<br />

Blue Mountains.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> <strong>Outlook</strong> is a member of the<br />

Australasian <strong>Catholic</strong> Press Association.<br />

© Diocese of Parramatta <strong>2021</strong><br />

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the traditional<br />

custodians of the lands in which our Diocese sits, the land of the<br />

Darug and Gundungurra people.<br />

We would like to pay our respects to the Aboriginal Elders past,<br />

present and future, for they hold the traditions, memories of<br />

Mother Earth on which we place our feet upon today.<br />

Pictured: A section of the artwork now hanging in the meeting room of<br />

Aboriginal <strong>Catholic</strong> Services, Emerton, painted by a Bundjalung Elder.<br />

The Diocese of Parramatta reaffirms the<br />

wise axiom attributed to Saint Augustine of<br />

Hippo, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials,<br />

freedom; in all things, charity.” In this spirit,<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> <strong>Outlook</strong> publishes a variety of<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> viewpoints. They are not necessarily<br />

the official views of the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Ordinary Time | <strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Cover Image: St. Joseph Shadow of the Father.<br />

Artist: Fr William Hart McNichols. © William Hart McNichols.<br />

frbillmcnichols-sacredimages.com.<br />

It’s the Year of St Joseph. St Joseph was a man of justice<br />

whose life journey fulfilled a prophecy, saved lives and,<br />

while staying in the shadows, carried light. His story,<br />

one of silence and courage inspires us to do the same.

From Bishop Vincent<br />

Dear Sisters and Brothers,<br />

Ordinary Time has arrived in our liturgical year.<br />

Ordinary Time is never really, of course, so ordinary.<br />

For most of our life, most days involve mundane<br />

routines, relating to friends and family and going<br />

about daily work. Nothing special about them.<br />

Yet we must not let the ordinary stay ordinary or<br />

simply sit around and wait for something “special”<br />

to celebrate.<br />

The best spiritual guides all insist that spirituality is<br />

about being present to the persons who surround<br />

us in our ordinary times and places. That’s where<br />

we discover our incarnate God who is closer to us<br />

than we are to ourselves.<br />

So perhaps Ordinary Time <strong>2021</strong> is a good time<br />

for each of us to look at how we relate to all those<br />

people who we interact with daily. How can we<br />

continue to become agents of the healing power<br />

of the Risen Jesus?<br />

One way is for us, every now and again, to take stock<br />

of our “emotional footprint”— the effect we have on<br />

others by the bluster of our moods, the amount of<br />

space we occupy when oblivious to those around us,<br />

the volume and pitch of our opinions and complaints,<br />

the weight we give to our very presence.<br />

I have a feeling that if each of us took stock of that<br />

“emotional footprint,” we might realise how important<br />

it is to be sensitive to those close by. In fact, taking<br />

such an inventory could be a good exercise in<br />

learning about how we can relate more sensitively<br />

to each other as disciples of Jesus.<br />

Could I suggest a simple list of questions —<br />

an examination of conscience — that we each<br />

might ask ourselves in Ordinary Time <strong>2021</strong>?<br />

How often do I make the world around me revolve<br />

around me?<br />

If I gave those with whom I live and work an<br />

opportunity to speak, would they say that I am<br />

a force to contend with, a physical and emotional<br />

presence not easily accommodated?<br />

Do I take up so much emotional space that my<br />

family, friends, and co-workers are overwhelmed<br />

and intimidated?<br />

Do I drain the energy and mood from a room<br />

by my bad-tempered attitude?<br />

Do I hang up the phone harshly, slam the door<br />

excessively, push the traffic signal button<br />

too fiercely?<br />

I have a hunch that if each of us would ask such<br />

simple questions, the mood around us would lighten,<br />

and a smile would return to our faces.<br />

Pope Francis has declared <strong>2021</strong> a special Year<br />

of St Joseph to help us see more clearly the<br />

importance of “ordinary” people who, though far<br />

from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope<br />

in everyday life.<br />

When human beings clamour for recognition,<br />

in St Joseph we see a person of silence and humility;<br />

when human beings fight for honour and privilege,<br />

in St Joseph we see a person dedicated wholly for<br />

others; when human beings put self-interest above<br />

everything, in St Joseph we see a person who put<br />

aside one’s own ambition in order to do God’s will.<br />

May each of us disciples, therefore, follow the<br />

example of St Joseph in our ordinary daily lives,<br />

who in the words of Pope Francis: “stands out,<br />

therefore, as an exemplary figure for our time,<br />

in a world that ‘needs fathers,’ and not ‘tyrants’;<br />

a society that ‘rejects those who confuse authority<br />

with authoritarianism, service with servility,<br />

discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare<br />

mentality, power with destruction’.” <br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

Bishop of Parramatta<br />

Do I loudly say things that would be better<br />

said softly?<br />

Do I speak when silence would be more appropriate<br />

and more welcome?

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18<br />

16<br />

24<br />

On the Inside<br />

Ordinary Time | <strong>Winter</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Get instant updates on <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

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04 <strong>Outlook</strong>Looks<br />

08 Short & Sweet<br />

09 St Joseph Prayer<br />

10 Uluru, Pope St John PauI II<br />

and craft<br />

12 Changing lives through<br />

friendship<br />

16 Investing in friendship for life<br />

18 What is Ordinary Time?<br />

20 Walking with Refugees<br />

21 WIN! Sharing the Wisdom<br />

of Time<br />

22 Putting ‘social’ into social media<br />

friendships<br />

24 Negotiating playground politics<br />

26 Filling young children’s friendship<br />

buckets<br />

28 Struggling students ‘Zone’<br />

into learning<br />

30 News from the <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Education Diocese of<br />

Parramatta Mission Team<br />

32 A prayer for the governance<br />

of the Diocese of Parramatta<br />

33 Looking deeper<br />

34 The Year of St Joseph<br />

37 Hearts of stone and hearts of flesh<br />

38 A cuppa with the priest:<br />

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ<br />

40 Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt:<br />

a family with heart<br />

42 Knowing your story is key<br />

to living truthfully<br />

44 A relationship with God needs<br />

a relationship with yourself<br />

46 Diocese of Parramatta releases<br />

‘unprecedented’ report on<br />

Church governance<br />

47 Continuing the Journey<br />

48 ‘Circle’ offers a space for women<br />

to connect<br />

49 Making friends from other faiths<br />

50 The future of our Church<br />

52 We begin with hello and a smile<br />

53 Kids' Corner<br />

54 Listen, Watch, Read, Think<br />

56 Directory of services<br />

57 Latest appointments<br />

57 Voice of the people

<strong>Outlook</strong>Looks<br />

Use winter to plan your<br />

Season of Creation<br />

<strong>Winter</strong> is the time to plan and lay the<br />

groundwork for our spring gardens.<br />

It’s the season for catching up on<br />

weeding and pruning too.<br />

We can do this spiritually to help our<br />

planet in spring.<br />

The Season of Creation is a worldwide<br />

movement of Christians, including<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>s, acting for of our planet’s future.<br />

Pope Francis is a big supporter of the<br />

event, which takes place from 1 September,<br />

concluding on the Feast of St Francis<br />

of Assisi on 4 October. Check out what<br />

Christian communities across the globe<br />

did in 2020, and be inspired to plan your<br />

own action for September <strong>2021</strong>. You might<br />

plan a special prayer service, make an<br />

inspirational video, act on an environmental<br />

issue, or research changes you can make<br />

at home.<br />

Explore the Season of Creation website<br />

at seasonofcreation.org and sign up for<br />

more info.<br />

Image: Isaac Quesada, Unsplash.<br />

Let’s celebrate grandparents!<br />

Pope Francis has announced the <strong>Catholic</strong> Church will<br />

celebrate World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly<br />

on the fourth Sunday in July.<br />

The celebration is close to the Feasts of Saints Joachim<br />

and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus.<br />

It’s a great reason to have the grandparents or elderly<br />

neighbours over for dinner or just treat them in some way.<br />

An offer to drive them to Mass might also be appreciated.<br />

While you’re doing so, really listen to what they have to say<br />

and take advantage of all those years of life experience.<br />

National Refugee Week:<br />

20 to 26 June<br />

It’s Refugee Week in June and you<br />

and your friends are invited to<br />

“Share a Meal, Share a Story”.<br />

Purchase this award-winning<br />

ebook of recipes and contributions<br />

by refugees and as you eat, share<br />

and reflect on the story of the<br />

refugee contributor.<br />

Image: Anna Earl, Unsplash.<br />

The Share a Meal, Share a Story ebook is available<br />

at refugeeweek.org.au/cookbook.<br />


Share with our Seminarians<br />

The seminarians from the Diocese of Parramatta’s<br />

Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park, are young men<br />

who have chosen to devote their lives to serving<br />

God and our community. Their vocation plays a vital<br />

role in keeping our Church and faith community<br />

strong. We have 13 seminarians studying to be<br />

priests in our Diocese. These future good shepherds<br />

rely on community support for their education,<br />

formation and accommodation during their<br />

minimum seven-year preparation for the priesthood.<br />

You can give a gift to support our seminarians<br />

by calling (02) 8838 3482 or online at<br />

yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/donate-seminary<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta,<br />

with seminarians from Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Inspiring People<br />

St Anthony of Padua<br />

St Anthony of Padua could have been a proud man.<br />

A talented theologian, he was recognised for<br />

preaching the Good News and how it applied to<br />

people’s daily lives without ‘showing off’. His humble<br />

approach meant that thousands of ordinary people<br />

understood the scriptures. He inspires us to learn<br />

more about the scriptures and apply them to our lives.<br />

The Feast of St Anthony of Padua is on 13 June.<br />

Anh Do<br />

Anh Do fled war-torn Vietnam as a child with his<br />

parents and came to live in Sydney. Now a<br />

successful comedian, author and painter, he and<br />

his family overcame many (often dangerous)<br />

obstacles in their lives with determination, gratitude,<br />

optimism, respect and the attitude of making the<br />

best of every situation.<br />

Australia celebrates Refugee Week 20 to 26 June.<br />

St Mary Magdalene<br />

Mary Magdalene stayed with Jesus as he died,<br />

and was the first to see him after the Resurrection.<br />

On Jesus’ instruction, she went to tell the other<br />

disciples thereby becoming ‘the apostle to the<br />

apostles’. Her example shows that being present<br />

to Jesus will help us connect with him, and sharing<br />

the Good News strengthens our faith.<br />

Saints Joachim and Anne<br />

As parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it was likely<br />

Saints Joachim and Anne set the example for Mary’s<br />

continuous practise of prayer, devotion to her faith,<br />

steadiness, and love for her family. They remind<br />

grandparents of their responsibility to pass on<br />

their life experiences to the young. As for the rest<br />

of us, we’ll learn lots by listening to older people’s<br />

perspectives and depths of experience.<br />

The Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne is on 26 July.<br />

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop<br />

It’s hard to not have an affinity for our own national<br />

and Diocesan saint in Mary of the Cross MacKillop.<br />

St Mary started a school for poor children in South<br />

Australia, then formed the Sisters of St Joseph<br />

which grew to 130 sisters and 40 schools within four<br />

years. She came up against many obstructions but<br />

persevered. Today we’re inspired by her care for the<br />

poor, strong faith, openness, tolerance, and courage.<br />

The Solemnity of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop<br />

is on 8 August.<br />

The Feast of St Mary Magdalene is on 22 July.<br />


<strong>Outlook</strong>Looks<br />

Say a prayer for our world<br />

Unite with others around the world to pray<br />

with Pope Francis for our world to become<br />

more humane and caring. Here are the Pope’s<br />

prayer intentions for the next three months.<br />

Find them at popesprayer.va or watch them<br />

on thepopevideo.org.<br />

June: Let us pray for young people who are<br />

preparing for marriage with the support of a<br />

Christian community: may they grow in love,<br />

with generosity, faithfulness and patience.<br />

July: We pray that, in social, economic and<br />

political situations of conflict, we may be<br />

courageous and passionate architects of<br />

dialogue and friendship.<br />

August: Let us pray for the Church, that She may<br />

receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength<br />

to reform herself in the light of the Gospel.<br />

Sending cards can be a powerful antidote to loneliness.<br />

Image: Ranurte, Unsplash.<br />

Australian pilgrimages<br />

Itching to challenge yourself and missing the Camino<br />

de Santiago? Why not try the Aussie Camino?<br />

Follow in the footsteps of Mary MacKillop as the<br />

Australian pilgrimage travels from Portland on the<br />

far south-western Victorian coast to Penola, South<br />

Australia – 160km away.<br />

Find out more info at aussiecamino.org<br />

Stretch your creative (and friendly)<br />

muscles<br />

In winter we can be inclined to lock ourselves away.<br />

Letting those around us know we are thinking of<br />

them can be a powerful antidote to feelings of<br />

loneliness. One of the loveliest ways of doing this<br />

is with a card. Getting a card that says “Thinking<br />

of You” or “Praying for You” out of the blue is<br />

guaranteed to make anyone’s day. This winter,<br />

stretch your creative muscle with handmade cards.<br />

Draw, paint, or make a collage using ribbon, lace,<br />

sequins or whatever you have on hand. Maybe<br />

enclose a prayer card for a relevant saint.<br />

Check out our story on page 12 about how <strong>2021</strong><br />

Local Hero Australian of the Year Rosemary<br />

Kariuki used cards to begin her incredible new<br />

life in Australia.<br />

Why Ordinary Time is not<br />

so ordinary<br />

Right now, we are in what is known as<br />

“Ordinary Time”. You guessed it, it falls outside<br />

the “peaks” of the Church year - Christmas and<br />

Easter. But spiritually it can be far from ordinary.<br />

Check out our article on page 18 on how<br />

to embrace ‘ordinary’ this season.<br />

Image: Halfpoint, Shutterstock.<br />


International Friendship Day<br />

During winter we all need a good friend to keep out the<br />

winter blues. In 2011, the United Nations declared 30 July<br />

International Friendship Day. This recognises the importance<br />

of friendship in building solidarity, as a way to tackle our<br />

world’s problems such as poverty and war.<br />

Google “United Nations Day of Friendship” and take the<br />

time to reflect on all the good things friendship brings.<br />

It's also a great reason to contact your buddies and tell<br />

them how much they mean to you. Better still, reach out<br />

to someone new.<br />

What’s On<br />

in the Diocese?<br />

22 JUNE<br />

All are welcome to zoom onto the webinar,<br />

The Ministry of Invitation at 11am.<br />

For details contact Lisa Bright<br />

at lisa.bright@parracatholic.org.<br />

25 JUNE<br />

Getting married? Sign up for a pre-marriage<br />

education course run by the Diocese. Courses<br />

run regularly. Details at parralmf.org.au.<br />

28 JUNE<br />

Lecture on the Plenary Council<br />

by Archbishop Tim Costelloe SDB at<br />

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.<br />

RSVP mark.oconnor@parracatholic.org.<br />

2 TO 4 JULY<br />

LIFTED Retreat, an annual retreat<br />

for young adults aged 19-35 run by<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Youth Parramatta. Details at<br />

parracatholic.org/cyp-lifted-retreat.<br />

Friends at St Oliver Plunkett’s Harris Park <strong>Catholic</strong> Out of School<br />

Hours Care. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

NAIDOC Week: 4 to 11 July<br />

This NAIDOC Week we consider the theme “Heal Country”.<br />

Aboriginal people have a special relationship to their land,<br />

and the destructive treatment of Australia impacts them<br />

deeply. This NAIDOC week, tune in and find out more about<br />

the relationship between Aboriginal people and Australia and<br />

why they ask us to help “Heal country”.<br />

You can find out more about NAIDOC Week and the<br />

move to Heal Country at naidoc.org.au<br />

Does your business, parish, early learning centre or school<br />

have a Reconciliation Action Plan? It’s a plan that creates a<br />

structure to support respectful relationships with Aboriginal<br />

and Torres Strait Islander people.<br />

This NAIDOC Week might be a good time to think about<br />

developing one. Details on how to write a plan are at<br />

reconciliation.org.au/reconciliation-action-plans/<br />

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday is held<br />

in the Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> Church on 4 July.<br />

12 JULY<br />

IFM Themes of Faith program kicks off<br />

with ten Mondays of small group discussion<br />

exploring themes of the <strong>Catholic</strong> Faith.<br />

Details at ifm.org.au.<br />

3 AUGUST<br />

The Faith Feed is a livestreamed show for<br />

young <strong>Catholic</strong> Adults. Log on at 7pm to<br />

immerse yourself in life and faith stories from<br />

people in their mid-20s to 40s. Details at<br />

thefaithfeedparramatta.com.au.<br />



Join others in discussing videos on faith<br />

topics via Zoom at the Saturday Sessions.<br />

Signup details are on the calendar at<br />

parracatholic.org and videos are available<br />

at thewell.org.au.<br />

Regular courses for those interested in<br />

participating in the liturgy run regularly.<br />

Details on courses are available at<br />

parracatholic.org.au/events.<br />

More details and events can be found<br />

at parracatholic.org.au/events.<br />


Short & Sweet<br />

Can we see in the faces of temporary seasonal<br />

workers the face of St Joseph, seeking work in<br />

a foreign land, trying to support his family?<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

Bishop of Parramatta, speaks as<br />

Chair of the Bishops Commission<br />

for Social Justice, Mission and Service<br />

for the <strong>2021</strong> message for St Joseph<br />

the Worker.<br />

Wisdom means bearing your own identity, accepting<br />

yourself through and through, being proud of<br />

yourself, no matter what.<br />

Pope Francis<br />

From Sharing the Wisdom of Time.<br />

Two hundred years ago, Fr John Therry answered<br />

the call to educate the youth of Parramatta. From<br />

that small beginning of 31 students began a great<br />

work that now spans 1,755 schools, 100,000 staff<br />

and 777,000 school students.<br />

Through your closeness to the land, you touched<br />

the sacredness of man’s relationship with God,<br />

for the land was the proof of a power in life<br />

greater than yourselves.<br />

You did not spoil the land, use it up, exhaust it.<br />

And then walk away from it. You realised that your<br />

land was related to the source of life.<br />

Pope St John Paul II<br />

Address to the Aborigines<br />

and Torres Strait Islanders in<br />

Blatherskite Park, Alice Springs,<br />

29 November 1986.<br />

The experience of friendship teaches us to be<br />

open, understanding and caring towards others,<br />

to come out of our own comfortable isolation and<br />

to share our lives with others. For this reason,<br />

“there is nothing so precious as a faithful friend”<br />

(Sir 6:15).<br />

Pope Francis<br />

From Christus Vivit.<br />

The Hon Scott Morrison MP<br />

Prime Minister of Australia<br />

May <strong>2021</strong> for 200 Years of <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Education in Australia.<br />



30+<br />




Reconnect, Renew, Reimagine <strong>Catholic</strong> Community and Mission via a unique virtual conference<br />

8th - 10th July <strong>2021</strong><br />

Inspiration & Formation for everyone engaged in the life of our Church.<br />

Registration: Individual rate $40 | Group rate $200 (unlimited numbers)<br />

aliveinthespirit.com.au<br />

Contact: Lisa Bright | 0448 652 720 | info@aliveinthespirit.com.au<br />

Hosted by the Pastoral Ministry Network in collaboration with Christian Initiation Australia Network and the Mission Planners Network of Oceania.

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse<br />

of the Blessed Virgin Mary.<br />

To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary<br />

placed her trust; with you Christ became man.<br />

Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father<br />

and guide us in the path of life.<br />

Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,<br />

and defend us from every evil. Amen.<br />

Pope Francis’ prayer to St Joseph for <strong>2021</strong> the Year of St Joseph

Aunty Rhonda Randall, Aunty Janice Kennedy<br />

and Aunty Janice Brown with their hands on<br />

the map of the language, social and nation<br />

groups of the Indigenous people of Australia.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Uluru,<br />

Pope St John PauI II<br />

and craft<br />

A recipe for friendship.<br />



Two young girls, taken from their families as<br />

part of the Stolen Generation have had the<br />

chance to stay lifelong friends. Now Aboriginal<br />

Aunties (Elders) in their 70s they look back at<br />

the good times.<br />

We’re sitting around the Elders’ table at Aboriginal<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Services in Emerton. The Sisterhood<br />

Gathering, held every Wednesday at the drop-in<br />

centre for the Aboriginal community, has just finished<br />

and the Aunties have a few moments to sit and chat.<br />

Listening to Gumbainggir women Aunty Janice<br />

Brown and Aunty Janice Kennedy, and their friend<br />

Aunty Rhonda Randall, a Bundjalung woman, talk<br />

about their stories, it’s obvious how their resilience<br />

helped them survive the trauma of being forced<br />

to leave their home and families. Aunty Janice<br />

Brown was taken from her <strong>Catholic</strong> mission home<br />

in northern NSW to become a domestic in Sydney.<br />

Aunty Janice Kennedy ran away three times from the<br />

placements she was sent to, finally ending up with an<br />

aunt who took her in.<br />

She met Aunty Rhonda at TAFE when they went<br />

back as adults to learn to read and write. At the<br />

time, the TAFE gave them graduating certificates<br />

despite the fact that many in the class still couldn’t<br />

read. The women, determined not to be fobbed off,<br />

got the media involved and the TAFE was forced to<br />

teach them for the next four years until they could<br />

read. Aunty Rhonda then went on to get her driver’s<br />

licence at age 65.<br />

Together they have joined groups run by<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care Western Sydney and the Blue<br />

Mountains over the years, particularly loving their<br />

craft days. The highlight came when, in 2006, they<br />

got a chance to travel to Uluru to commemorate 20<br />

years since Pope St John Paul II visited Indigenous<br />

communities in Australia. They all claim the trip has<br />

been a highlight of their lives. Not only did they get to<br />

visit Uluru and see Australia, but they celebrated the<br />

impact the Pope’s visit had on Aboriginal people at<br />

the time.<br />

Aunty Janice Kennedy says, quietly but firmly:<br />

“He addressed the <strong>Catholic</strong> Church to respect<br />

Aboriginal people.” As the three Aunties explain<br />

that they felt the Pope’s words of recognition and<br />

respect led to significant changes, she continues:<br />

“He’s the guy behind this building.”<br />

The Aunties chuckle over good times, reciting poems<br />

about friendship, and revealing that despite never<br />

going to school, Aunty Janice Brown has written<br />

children’s books and been a nurse in <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

hospitals. Aunty Janice Kennedy also reveals how<br />

special the Apology to the Stolen Generations was<br />

to her. <br />

In <strong>2021</strong> NAIDOC Week will be held from 4 to 11 July<br />

and the Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> Church’s Aboriginal<br />

and Torres Strait Islander Sunday is on 4 July.<br />

The Aunties’ tips on<br />

friendship and community:<br />

- We don’t recognise colour.<br />

- We all look after children,<br />

even if they aren’t ours –<br />

because they are all ours.<br />

- You only need one or two<br />

really good friends.<br />

The Aunties’ trip to Uluru in<br />

2006 to mark 20 years since<br />

Pope St John Paul II addressed<br />

Aboriginal people in Australia.<br />

Image: Supplied.<br />


“Friendship gives them hope, once<br />

they have a friend who cares, they<br />

care about themselves and start to<br />

help themselves.<br />

”<br />

Changing lives<br />

through friendship<br />


Rosemary Kariuki was named Local Hero in the<br />

<strong>2021</strong> Australian of the Year Awards, recognising<br />

her incredible achievements with friendship and<br />

God at the centre. She started out in the Parish<br />

of Baulkham Hills and she and her Baulkham<br />

Hills friends share their story and friendship tips.<br />

When I tell Rosemary Kariuki, Local Hero Australian<br />

of the Year for <strong>2021</strong>, that I’m coming to her house<br />

one evening not only with a photographer, but also<br />

her friends and we’re going to have dinner, she<br />

doesn’t bat an eyelid. She loves being with people.<br />

Rosemary’s friendliness has changed the lives of<br />

thousands of women in Sydney, many of whom<br />

were victims of domestic violence. She’s been in an<br />

international touring play The Baulkham Hills African<br />

Ladies Troupe, a movie about the play, and more<br />

recently her very own movie, Rosemary’s Way. Her<br />

Local Hero award is just one of many she has been<br />

presented with since she arrived in Australia in 1999<br />

having fled violence in Kenya. As she matter-of-factly<br />

lists the speaking and TV engagements she has lined<br />

up for the next week, not only am I impressed, but<br />

grateful that she still made time for me.<br />

Today, I’m sitting around her table with her good<br />

friends from the Parish of Baulkham Hills, Lucy<br />

and Peter Maguire, talking about friendship.<br />

While they met at work in the community sector,<br />

it was a particularly memorable Feast of Pentecost<br />

event at St Michael’s Church, Baulkham Hills which<br />

they both recall as being a turning point in their<br />

friendship. Rosemary remembers Lucy’s Irish potato<br />

soup - potatoes being a staple for her tribe in Kenya.<br />

Lucy remembers Rosemary’s African food and the<br />

spectacular African dress and headdress she wore.<br />

Irish Lucy also stood out to Rosemary as St Patrick<br />

is an important saint in Kenya.<br />

We talk about friendship and of God and how<br />

important these are in their lives. Rosemary credits<br />

God with everything that has happened to her.<br />

Packing for her trip to Australia, she included lots<br />

of small gifts. “Why?” I ask. She explained that in<br />

Africa, you give gifts in return for people helping you.<br />

“I knew someone would open the door of their home<br />

to me,” she says. “I had faith.”<br />

She arrived in Australia alone, at night, with next<br />

to nothing.<br />


“Open your door to<br />

your neighbours and<br />

get to know them,”<br />

she told Australia.<br />

Rosemary Kariuki in Rosemary’s Way.<br />

Image: Supplied.<br />

“I said a prayer,” says Rosemary. “Then I saw a lady<br />

at the airport, and I went up to her and told her my<br />

problems, that I had very little money and nowhere<br />

to stay. The lady just said: ‘Let’s go’. I will never<br />

forget that family or thinking that night, ‘I’m going<br />

to sleep under a roof!'”.<br />

She found a place to live and a job. As she told<br />

Australia at her Australia Day Award presentation this<br />

year, she lived in an apartment building of 15 units<br />

where no one ever spoke to her. One Christmas, she<br />

sent everyone in the building a card with her phone<br />

number on it. That was enough to get the other<br />

residents talking to her, and she was on her way to<br />

making her first friends. “They asked me about my<br />

culture and invited me for meals,” she remembers.<br />

She recounted this experience in her Australia Day<br />

Award speech, “Open your door to your neighbours<br />

and get to know them,” she told Australia.<br />

Friendship making change<br />

As well as involvement in the Baulkham Hills<br />

Parish, Rosemary joined the African Women’s<br />

community and organised the inaugural African<br />

Ladies’ Dinner Dance, now in its 16th year.<br />

She wanted immigrant women to have fun and<br />

make friends but also hear important messages.<br />

At the first dance, she organised a speaker on<br />

domestic violence. “The next week, 20 women<br />

reported their abuse to the police,” she says.<br />

Today, she is a community liaison officer with the<br />

NSW Police. Brochures and pamphlets “don’t<br />

do the job” to help women who feel trapped and<br />

scared, she says. Her method is to offer herself<br />

as a friend they can trust and who will walk by<br />

their side, especially those with no other family<br />

in Australia.<br />


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school and join one of our caring, faith-filled communities.<br />

Growing together in faith and learning

“<br />

Faith and friendship with God<br />

Rosemary, Lucy and Peter share a strong faith.<br />

They have spent much time talking about their faith,<br />

and supporting each other in difficulties.<br />

“I’ve never really been afraid because I know God<br />

will make everything ok,” says Rosemary, who<br />

now attends Mary MacKillop <strong>Catholic</strong> Church<br />

in Oran Park. Lucy’s friendship with God is also<br />

central to her being. The two of them talk about<br />

times they almost doubted God. Rosemary recalls<br />

being furious with God when her beloved second<br />

husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness.<br />

His last words to her were, “God brought you<br />

to look after me.” “That answered my question<br />

‘Why did this happen?’,” she says.<br />

Lucy is thrilled that Rosemary openly discusses her<br />

faith in the media. “When Rosemary won the award,<br />

I said a prayer to God to the effect ‘I want you (the<br />

Holy Spirit) to be seen through this award’,” she says,<br />

delighted at how often Rosemary’s faith is reported.<br />

Rosemary’s faith has also helped her see the good<br />

in people. It has helped her overcome anxiety.<br />

“If I see you, I see the positive,” she says.<br />

I’ve never really been afraid<br />

because I know God will make<br />

everything<br />

”<br />

ok.<br />

Rosemary and Lucy’s<br />

friendship tips<br />

Rosemary with her friends Lucy and Peter Maguire from<br />

the Parish of Baulkham Hills. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Friendship keeps it real<br />

Besides letting you be yourself, true friends keep<br />

you grounded, says Rosemary. Her sister has told<br />

her that her success mustn’t change her. Rosemary<br />

has resolved that even if she becomes Prime<br />

Minister, she’ll sneak her friends into Parliament<br />

House and continue to share the laughs.<br />

The women Rosemary comes across tell her they<br />

don’t have friends. That’s why she becomes their<br />

friend who doesn’t give up on them. “Friendship<br />

gives them hope,” she says. “Once they have<br />

a friend who cares, they care about themselves<br />

and start to help themselves.” <br />

You can find out more on Rosemary’s movie<br />

at rosemaryswaythefilm.org.<br />

Rosemary is also a director of Kenyan charity<br />

hannahcommunity.org.<br />

- Go out and meet people from other cultures.<br />

Sharing cultures is beautiful.<br />

- You don’t know the difference just smiling and<br />

saying “hello” may have on someone.<br />

- If you’re anxious about relationships, remember<br />

you don’t really know what is going on for that<br />

other person, so take a risk and reach out.<br />

- Making your first friend is the hardest. Once you<br />

know you have someone’s trust and friendship<br />

it is easier to make other friends.<br />

- Volunteer to help others and you’ll soon make<br />

friends.<br />

- Be a great neighbour by doing nice things such<br />

as mowing the lawn for them.<br />

- “Leave it with the Lord” if you feel a friendship isn’t<br />

working for you right now.<br />

- Give. “If you give with one hand, God will give you<br />

back 100-fold,” says Rosemary.<br />


Investing in<br />

friendship for life<br />

“<br />

Spending time to build friendship with your fiancé,<br />

husband or wife is an investment worth making.<br />

”<br />


How do you want your life to look in 10, 20 or 50<br />

years’ time?<br />

You might hope to be surrounded by family and a<br />

loving spouse you’ve grown old with. With supportive<br />

relationships forming part of the ‘golden triangle’<br />

to wellbeing according to Deakin University and<br />

Australian Unity’s Wellbeing Index, it’s a good aim<br />

to have.<br />

Often this picture of “growing old together” is taken<br />

for granted. In fact, according to the educators<br />

at the Pre-Marriage Preparation courses in the<br />

Life, Marriage and Family Office of the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta, some engaged couples haven’t thought<br />

that far ahead. When marriage educators Nerissa<br />

and Arts Calub ask how many engaged couples are<br />

ready for “the pitfalls”, it’s sometimes the first time<br />

couples have thought about it.<br />

Friendship in marriage<br />

Seeing your husband or wife as a friend, in fact<br />

your best friend, provides a guide on how to keep<br />

the respect, fun and intimacy in a marriage, say<br />

Nerissa and Arts. “Think about how you treat a<br />

friend,” says Nerissa. “You treasure the friendship,<br />

you want to make your friend happy and have fun<br />

and even adventures with them. Be realistic with<br />

your expectations.”<br />

Briony and Jesse Mowbray are another couple who<br />

lead the pre-marriage courses. “Be intentional about<br />

keeping the friendship in a marriage,” advises Jesse.<br />

He and Briony know this is easier said than done of<br />

course. “Yes, I get cranky” admits Jesse. His advice<br />

is to realise when it’s not a good time for important<br />

discussions. “Allow time for emotion to settle, so you<br />

are acting with your head,” he says. “It’s ok to take a<br />

break and resume the conversation at a better time.”<br />

Briony recommends really seeing your spouse as<br />

another person. “No one is perfect but look for the<br />

things they do well and focus on those qualities,”<br />

she says.<br />

All four educators see sharing a faith will make<br />

couples closer. Making vows before God, gives<br />

couples a reference point to refer to when times<br />

get tough, says Nerissa. “When people are at their<br />

lowest ebb in a relationship, we recommend going<br />

back to their marriage vows and remembering that<br />

these vows were made for the other person in the<br />

marriage. Reflect on ‘What was it that I actually<br />

promised to do for that other person?’”<br />


Be intentional about<br />

keeping the friendship<br />

in a marriage.<br />

Image: Priscilla du Preez, Unsplash.<br />

Kristelle Elysee and Stephen Curry attended a<br />

marriage preparation course in February this year.<br />

They were inspired by Nerissa and Arts’ close<br />

relationship. Kristelle laughs at how many times they<br />

have referred to the phrase the marriage educators<br />

often used in the course: “There are ‘other ways’<br />

(of doing things).” “When one of us now uses that<br />

line, the other knows what they are talking about<br />

and backs down,” she says.<br />

Arts’ favourite thing is to go up to happy looking older<br />

couples, maybe doing something simple like walking<br />

in the sun or buying an ice cream, and asking “What<br />

makes your marriage so beautiful?”. He recommends<br />

couples aim for the goal they want, right from the<br />

start. “As you age, you’ll realise the value of friendship<br />

in your partner and how much you rely on each other,”<br />

he says. “The time to start thinking about the fun you’ll<br />

have as an elderly couple is when you’re young.” <br />

Tips for creating a friendship in marriage<br />

- Think about your husband or wife as a friend.<br />

How would you treat a good friend?<br />

- If you disagree with them, say your opinion<br />

respectfully like you would to a friend.<br />

- If you’re on the receiving end of criticism,<br />

be open to what they are trying to say before<br />

getting defensive. Use ‘I’ statements when<br />

discussing a difficult issue.<br />

- Be conscious of the example of marriage you<br />

were set by your family. Be aware when you<br />

bring these attitudes or behaviours into your<br />

own marriage and whether they are helpful.<br />

- Approach difficult conversations when everyone<br />

is fresh, in a good space and definitely well-fed!<br />

- Think of your marriage as a chance to serve<br />

others, the ‘other’ being your husband or wife.<br />

- Let Jesus be part of your marriage and your<br />

journey together through your married life.<br />

The Diocese of Parramatta runs marriage<br />

preparation courses for couples regularly<br />

throughout the year.<br />

To find out more, visit parracatholic.org/pmp.<br />


What is Ordinary Time?<br />

“<br />

Enabled by God’s love, empowered by Christ’s sacrifice<br />

and enlivened by God’s Spirit, we are transformed<br />

– there is nothing ordinary about that!<br />

”<br />


Ordinary Time is the name the Church uses for<br />

those weeks outside the seasons of Advent,<br />

Christmastide, Lent and Eastertide. Debra Snoddy<br />

explains why it is much more than ‘ordinary’.<br />

The longest section of Ordinary Time begins<br />

on the Monday after Pentecost, and can run for<br />

up to twenty-seven weeks, depending on when<br />

Advent begins.<br />

The General Norms of the Liturgical Year and the<br />

Calendar section 43 has an official description<br />

of this season:<br />

Apart from those seasons having their own distinctive<br />

character, thirty-three or thirty-four weeks remain<br />

in the yearly cycle that do not celebrate a specific<br />

aspect of the mystery of Christ. Rather, especially<br />

on the Sundays, they are devoted to the mystery<br />

of Christ in all its aspects. This period is known as<br />

“Ordinary Time”.<br />

After all the celebrations of the Seasons of Christ,<br />

Ordinary Time can feel a bit “blah”. But the liturgical<br />

colour for the season is green, the colour of life.<br />

The word “ordinary” has Latin roots which mean “to<br />

bring to order”. By taking these two aspects together,<br />

Ordinary Time is an invitation from the Church to<br />

bring order to our lives, to re-orient ourselves so that<br />

we do not miss the real treasures that this season<br />

has to offer. But why? To what purpose?<br />

The colour of Ordinary Time is green. It is a chance to bring our lives to order.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


Not So Ordinary Time! Because it is so ordinary.<br />

Our time is not spent in feasting - as in the Christmas<br />

and Easter seasons - or in fasting - as in Advent and<br />

Lent. We have time to reflect on our own life as a<br />

disciple in the light that only Christ can give; we have<br />

a chance to grow closer to Jesus and deepen our<br />

spiritual life. It is a time to walk with Jesus through<br />

the Gospels so that our minds, hearts and souls<br />

are more and more conformed to the mind and will<br />

of Christ. This is one of the goals of Ordinary Time<br />

which is represented by the final Sunday of the<br />

liturgical year, the Solemnity of Christ the King.<br />

Another aspect of this ‘not so ordinary’ time is that<br />

we can acknowledge that we are truly loved by God.<br />

The readings from the Gospels, for this part of the<br />

liturgical year, delve more deeply into the mission and<br />

ministry of Jesus to humanity. This requires that we,<br />

in our turn, love God and love others.<br />

One of the ways we show our love of God is by<br />

spending time in prayer and worship, particularly<br />

by participating in the Sunday Mass. Here, the Trinity<br />

come to us in a special way, through the gathering<br />

of the faithful, through God’s Word and especially<br />

through the Eucharist.<br />

Nourished by the body and blood of Christ, we are<br />

then empowered to be Christ to others – to serve<br />

humanity, just as Jesus Christ came to serve us<br />

(Mark 10:45). Service requires us to be Christ to<br />

those around us, to make a difference by doing<br />

God’s good works (Matt 25:35-40).<br />

In so doing, we learn to live more authentically as<br />

a Christian. Enabled by God’s love, empowered<br />

by Christ’s sacrifice and enlivened by God’s Spirit,<br />

we are transformed – there is nothing ordinary about<br />

that! However, the true power of the season is only<br />

unlocked if you live it. Perhaps in the Ordinary Time<br />

we may find the extra-ordinariness of the Trinity. <br />

Dr Debra A Snoddy is a Lecturer in Biblical Studies<br />

at the <strong>Catholic</strong> Institute of Sydney.<br />

Introducing<br />

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House<br />

Artist Impression<br />

Expressions of interest for our intimate Residential<br />

Aged Care Home in Norwest are now being taken.<br />

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1300 169 949<br />


“<br />

Walking<br />

with Refugees<br />

”<br />

Here’s how you, your school or parish can get<br />

involved too:<br />

Join us as we walk in solidarity with people<br />

seeking protection.<br />


Support National Refugee Week <strong>2021</strong>, 20 to 26 June<br />

- an Aussie tradition dating back 35 years.<br />

Find an event to support at refugeeweek.org.au<br />

or plan your own. We’ll be organising an event<br />

around the Refugee Week theme Unity. Find details<br />

on parracatholic.org.<br />

Pictured: Iranian asylum seeker Patrick (centre), his wife<br />

Alison and their (then) baby son Xavier, with Bishop<br />

Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, at the<br />

launch of the Diocesan Journey in 2017. Sacred Heart<br />

Parish Blackheath assisted Patrick in his successful appeal<br />

to the Immigration Assessment Authority to obtain a Safe<br />

Haven Enterprise Visa. Image: Supplied.<br />

Parishioners in the Diocese of Parramatta have<br />

always shown compassion, love and welcome<br />

to refugees and people seeking protection.<br />

Following an invitation by Bishop Vincent Long<br />

OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, a group was<br />

formed in 2017: the Diocesan Journey… Walking<br />

with Refugees and People Seeking Protection.<br />

To date, parishes and individuals have:<br />

- Supplied food, toiletry and cash donations to<br />

refugee agencies the House of Welcome and<br />

Jesuit Refugee Service;<br />

- Conducted ‘Parish Table Talks’ with advocacy<br />

group the Sydney Alliance;<br />

- Through parish conferences and schools,<br />

partnered with Vinnies (the St Vincent de Paul<br />

Society), who directly provided assistance to<br />

refugees and asylum seekers;<br />

- Met with Federal and State MPs on refugee policy;<br />

- Provided emergency accommodation in<br />

underutilised houses;<br />

- Provided resources to Diocesan schools about<br />

refugees.<br />

Sign up your parish to the Diocesan food drive<br />

roster to help provide desperately-needed food<br />

supplies to the 1300 people the House of Welcome<br />

and Jesuit Refugee Service feed each week.<br />

parracatholic.org/diocesanfooddrive.<br />

Host a ‘Table Talk’ in your parish. Table Talks<br />

are an opportunity for people seeking asylum to<br />

share their story, to hear from an expert on current<br />

policies and to explore questions in a safe and<br />

respectful environment. Find out more from<br />

zoe.grant@jrs.org.au.<br />

Invite a refugee to your Church community.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care Western Sydney and the Blue<br />

Mountains is piloting Church communities hosting<br />

refugee individuals and families. Find out more from<br />

Celia: (02) 8843 2550; celia.vagg@ccss.org.au.<br />

Watch and share resources to better understand the<br />

issues at parracatholic.org/socialjustice.<br />

Campaign for more support for refugees in the<br />

Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas.<br />

Contact zoe.grant@jrs.org.au for more information.<br />

Participate in your parish activities for Migrant and<br />

Refugee Sunday on 26 September <strong>2021</strong>. Resources<br />

can be found at acmro.catholic.org.au/resources/<br />

migrant-refugee-kit.<br />

Join us as we walk in solidarity with people seeking<br />

protection. Contact Sebastian, the Peace, Justice and<br />

Ecology Coordinator in the Diocese of Parramatta at<br />

Sebastian.Salaske-Lentern@parracatholic.org. <br />

David Buckley and Zoe Grant are members of<br />

Walking with Refugees and People Seeking<br />

Protection in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


WIN!<br />

Sharing the Wisdom of Time<br />

by Pope Francis and Friends<br />

As the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly<br />

on 25 July approaches, and thanks to <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Healthcare Australia, you could win one of three<br />

copies of Pope Francis’s beautiful hardcover book<br />

Sharing the Wisdom of Time.<br />

We’ve asked two generations to review Sharing the<br />

Wisdom of Time, revealing everyone can learn from<br />

our elders.<br />

TO ENTER<br />

Go to catholicoutlook.org/sharing-the-wisdom-of-time<br />

or scan the QR code and complete your details.<br />

Sharing the Wisdom of Time<br />

by Pope Francis and Friends<br />

was born out of an inspiration<br />

that came to Pope Francis<br />

during his morning prayer.<br />

He wished to find a way<br />

for elders across the world<br />

to share the wisdom of their years with the<br />

young. Indeed, Pope Francis spoke of the great<br />

responsibility entrusted to elders to transmit their<br />

life’s experience, their family and community history,<br />

to future generations. As a member of the elder<br />

cohort myself, I was touched by this affirmation<br />

of the gift of years by Pope Francis.<br />

This beautiful book is typical of the pastoral<br />

approach of Pope Francis: it is at once practical and<br />

personal, inclusive and reciprocal. Stories gathered<br />

from men and women from all walks of life around<br />

the globe, speak of the universal experiences of<br />

work, struggle, love, death, and hope.<br />

As well as calling on the elders to be memory<br />

keepers and sharers of wisdom, Pope Francis<br />

speaks of his hope to build an alliance between<br />

the generations. A lovely feature of this book is his<br />

invitation to younger people to reflect on what they<br />

have learnt from an elder. <br />

Sr Catherine Ryan rsm<br />

In reading this book, I recall<br />

Pope Francis’ closing<br />

homily at World Youth Day<br />

in Panama; “Stand up with<br />

your grandparents and elders<br />

to speak out and realise the<br />

dream that the Lord has<br />

dreamed for you”. Through pilgrimage, I witnessed<br />

the faithful richness and strength of the global<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> youth community. In reading this book,<br />

I am reminded of the memory and wisdom of my<br />

inspirer’s also; my visionary elders through whom<br />

my faith has persevered.<br />

Sharing the Wisdom of Time enthuses an enriching<br />

encounter between the young and the elderly.<br />

The subtly insightful testimonials of the elders<br />

inspire the memory of my own grandparents.<br />

My grandparents, and the grandparents of my<br />

faith, have learnt devotion through recognising<br />

the presence of the Holy Spirit. All of us, young<br />

missionaries, might do the same. <br />

Mollie Bauerhuit<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Healthcare is celebrating the opening of its<br />

new Residential Aged Care Home, MacKillop House,<br />

in Norwest in September <strong>2021</strong>. Please call 1300 169<br />

949 or visit catholichealthcare.com.au/residence/<br />

Norwest/ for more information.<br />


“Social media doesn’t<br />

present the fullness<br />

of a person’s life, and<br />

often this can lead to<br />

comparison.”<br />

Image: Becca Tapert, Unsplash.<br />

Putting ‘social’<br />

into social media friendships<br />


Once you used to have to wait until after work<br />

to call your friend. Now type a message and it is<br />

received instantly. Time is irrelevant and you can<br />

reach people anywhere in the world. No wonder<br />

social media became part of our lives so quickly.<br />

“Social media provides a tool for young people to<br />

connect with one another and these connections<br />

happen right throughout the day,” says Qwayne<br />

Guevara, Local Engagement Leader, <strong>Catholic</strong> Youth<br />

Parramatta (CYP).<br />

James Camden, Director, CYP, adds that the regular<br />

connection provided online overcomes those<br />

logistical challenges of time and distance that often<br />

stall friendships.<br />

James and Qwayne recall how they, like the rest<br />

of the world, had to adapt their relationships to<br />

pandemic restrictions when even Mass and birthday<br />

parties were held online. Once restrictions were<br />

lifted, however, youth leaders couldn’t wait to meet<br />

face-to-face again. It showed them how meeting in<br />

person is still preferable, but social media can keep<br />

people who can’t physically meet, in touch.<br />

In particular, James found young people with<br />

a strong faith bonded together on social media,<br />

brought together by their common beliefs in Jesus.<br />


Online authenticity<br />

The trick to authentic and positive relationships<br />

online, say James and Qwayne, is to allow<br />

ourselves to be fully truthful (safely) on social<br />

media about our lives, to ourselves and how we<br />

show ourselves to others.<br />

“Social media doesn’t present the fullness of a<br />

person’s life, and often this can lead to comparison,”<br />

Qwayne says. “The difficulty lies in the ‘highlights<br />

reel’ nature of social media which has been<br />

cultivated by influencers and large organisations<br />

driven by profit.<br />

“It can be difficult to tell what’s real from what is not.<br />

In many ways, this can affect how a young person<br />

sees themselves. It also impacts how confidently,<br />

kindly and authentically they engage with others<br />

in ‘the real-life’ areas of their lives,” she says.<br />

Acting against negative experiences<br />

Statistics compiled by the Australian eSafety<br />

Commissioner in 2020 showed that just over four in<br />

10 teens had at least one negative online experience<br />

in the six months to September 2020, with this<br />

increasing to over 50% of those aged 14 to 17.<br />

The good news is that a large percentage of young<br />

people are prepared to act if they feel unsafe.<br />

More than 80% of teens took some form of action<br />

after a negative online experience, such as blocking<br />

another user or speaking to family and friends about<br />

the situation.<br />

Supporting others on social media<br />

The eSafety Commissioner found nine in 10 teens<br />

reported that they have done at least one positive<br />

thing online. They may have supported or listened to<br />

a friend who had a bad experience, posted positive/<br />

nice comments about others and made sure that<br />

peers are not excluded online.<br />

Qwayne hopes that by working in youth ministry,<br />

she is accompanying young people both in person<br />

and online to grow in confidence in themselves and<br />

recognise that they are created out of love.<br />

“As they gain confidence in themselves, we hope<br />

that they understand that they need to not conform<br />

to popular culture. Instead, they are comfortable<br />

with posting and sharing content authentically,”<br />

she says.<br />

Dealing with the pressures of social media<br />

The eSafety Commissioner website, (esafety.gov.au)<br />

has dozens of articles about the issues that can arise<br />

with online relationships. Here’s what they say about<br />

dealing with the pressures of social media.<br />

- Check yourself. If you’re feeling unsure about<br />

posting something, ask yourself: “Why am I doing<br />

this?” Stick to posting things that reflect who you<br />

really are, and make you feel good about yourself.<br />

- Social media is not real life. Think critically about<br />

what you see online — a lot of posts are not real.<br />

- Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad.<br />

Ask yourself whether accounts you follow are<br />

making you feel positive or negative. Unfollow<br />

accounts that make you feel bad about yourself<br />

and follow the accounts that make you feel good.<br />

- Turn off your notifications and have a<br />

phone-free day. If you feel like you are spending<br />

too much time scrolling through your feed and<br />

it is contributing to the pressure you feel, try<br />

switching off. It can be good to log off for a while.<br />

- Be authentic online. Make sure you post things<br />

that make you feel good about yourself.<br />

- Talk to someone. Pressures from social media<br />

can make you feel isolated, and it can seem like<br />

everyone else is having a fantastic time. Talk to<br />

a friend or family member, or reach out to free,<br />

confidential online and phone counselling services<br />

for help and support.<br />

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800<br />

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636<br />

To find out more about looking after yourself<br />

online so you can have a positive experience<br />

go to esafety.gov.au <br />

Wellness on The Well<br />

A brand-new series of short videos by <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Youth Parramatta is coming to The Well<br />

dealing with mental health and young people:<br />

- Coping with the school holiday blues<br />

- Loneliness: Myths V Facts<br />

- The difference between feeling depressed<br />

and depression<br />

- How to be an upstander against bullying<br />

Check them out on thewell.org.au<br />


“It helps the children realise they can be<br />

friends with anyone.<br />

”<br />

Negotiating<br />

playground politics<br />


Children at St Oliver’s Harris<br />

Park <strong>Catholic</strong> Out of School<br />

Hours Care find they can make<br />

a wider circle of friends than<br />

just those in their year group.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


Natalie Markos Douwaihi has seen children’s<br />

friendships in the playground as an educator,<br />

at before and after school care, and even<br />

as a devoted aunty. She shares some of<br />

her learnings about the complex world<br />

of children’s friendships.<br />

Natalie is the Service Coordinator at St Oliver’s Harris<br />

Park <strong>Catholic</strong> Out of School Hours Care (COSHC),<br />

and has seen many “cliques” in the playground and<br />

the children desperately trying to break into them.<br />

Natalie has seen children whose, sometimes<br />

unwittingly, inappropriate behaviour drives other<br />

children away.<br />

Natalie has also seen children cast aside the “school<br />

playground politics” once they are at before or after<br />

school care. At St Oliver’s COSHC, children happily<br />

play with each other regardless of who they usually<br />

play with at school.<br />

At the same time, Natalie has spoken to many parents<br />

who have come to her confused and upset when their<br />

child doesn’t seem to be able to make friends.<br />

When they are still in the early years of school,<br />

Natalie explains, it’s often important for adults<br />

to show children how to find things they like<br />

in common so they can have fun together.<br />

Natalie sees good friendships really begin to blossom<br />

in children around the Year 3 and 4 stage, but then<br />

become more complicated in Years 5 and 6 as<br />

children approach puberty. At this age personal<br />

popularity becomes more important.<br />

Natalie comments that activities away from school,<br />

including at COSHC, give children freedom, “It helps<br />

the children realise they can be friends with anyone,”<br />

she says.<br />

She’s very clear on the need for children to feel<br />

empowered to talk about friendship issues with<br />

adults, and advises parents to gently prompt<br />

discussion about the topic with their children.<br />

“Children need support and advice,” she says.<br />

“It’s important that the adults around them are<br />

supportive and open, rather than acting as a<br />

disciplinarian or judging who’s right and wrong.”<br />

“We talk about love,<br />

forgiveness, unity and<br />

diversity.<br />

25<br />

Natalie dismisses the concept that children are<br />

“dobbing” when they report a friendship issue to<br />

a teacher, and never gets either party into trouble.<br />

“I always tell children they are not “dobbing” if they<br />

need adult help with a friendship issue. I ask ‘What<br />

happened?’ rather than ‘why?’ because it’s easier for<br />

them to describe the situation,” she says. “I then give<br />

my perspective, and let each side talk it through.”<br />

Natalie’s experience has shown her once children<br />

get a chance to explain how they felt about a<br />

situation, the issue often clears up.<br />

“We bring things back to Jesus’ example,” she says,<br />

about what she might say to children having a fight.<br />

“We talk about love, forgiveness, unity and diversity.”<br />

At the end of the day, Natalie advises that even<br />

if children have trouble fitting into a particular<br />

friendship group, as long as their parents support<br />

them, and help them feel ok about it, there are<br />

upsides. “I wasn’t particularly popular myself and<br />

didn’t stay in the same friendship group,” says<br />

Natalie. “It made me more independent,” she says.<br />

“I learned how to reach out to others and get on with<br />

all different people rather than being with the same<br />

people all the time.” <br />

Tips for helping your children make friends<br />

- Don’t judge who is right and wrong in a<br />

friendship quarrel, particularly if a child<br />

comes to you for help. You will only create<br />

a stigma around “dobbing” in the future<br />

rather than adult intervention being seen<br />

as helpful.<br />

- Gently help children find common ground<br />

with other children if they are having<br />

trouble making friends.<br />

- Gently and non-judgmentally ask your<br />

children about their friendships to show<br />

you are interested.<br />

- Speak to educators at COSHC or other<br />

carers if you feel there is a problem as<br />

children need equal support at home,<br />

school and other care.<br />

- Be a friend to your child, but also always<br />

be their parent.<br />

- See friendship battles and popularity<br />

as part of growing up and becoming<br />


“<br />

They learn to fill their ‘friendship bucket’<br />

with things that are important in making<br />

and keeping friends, like smiling, caring,<br />

and helping others.<br />

”<br />

Filling young children’s<br />

friendship buckets<br />


Are your children’s friendships confusing at<br />

times? The good news is that there are things<br />

parents can do to nurture them along on the<br />

road to making good friends, and becoming<br />

“bucket fillers”.<br />

Every parent knows that one of the big life lessons<br />

for their children is how to make friends. One of the<br />

first questions parents often ask Jo Bird, Director<br />

at St Luke’s <strong>Catholic</strong> Early Learning Centre (CELC)<br />

at Marsden Park is: “Are they playing with other<br />

children?”<br />

Jo cautions parents not to get too worried if it seems<br />

to take some time, particularly when they are aged<br />

under five.<br />

Wanting to play with others is a natural stage in a<br />

child’s development. Children reach this point at<br />

different times she says. However, says Jo, they all<br />

need a little guidance on how to approach and make<br />

friends. This can be indirect or sometimes explicit.<br />

She gives children the benefit of the doubt when<br />

they display “difficult behaviour” up until about age<br />

six. “Until that time they are still learning, and it takes<br />

some children longer than others to demonstrate<br />

appropriate behaviours,” she says.<br />

Jo outlines the key stages. “At about age three we<br />

see children playing side by side” she says. “They<br />

may sit down next to a child doing the same thing<br />

they want to do, such as playing with blocks or a toy<br />

kitchen. Just being around another child is enough.<br />

“As they get to ages four and five they will start to<br />

make strong bonds with other children based on<br />

their age and common interests. We see children<br />

say to each other things like ‘You’re four and I’m<br />

four and we both like dinosaurs so we are friends’.”<br />

There are times of course, when some children want<br />

to find new friends to play with. It’s hard for some<br />

children to understand why their friend wants to play<br />

with someone else. It can lead some children feeling<br />

hurt, occasionally in tears.<br />

This is where an adult can come in to explain about<br />

making choices around friends. “We explain to the<br />

children who are upset that it’s not that the other<br />

person doesn’t like them, they just want to play<br />

with someone else,” says Jo.<br />

St Luke’s CELC is in the grounds of St Luke’s<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> College. Learning to communicate with<br />

others, and managing emotions are core to the<br />

building of friendships at St Luke’s and are applied<br />

from early learning through to Year 12. <strong>Catholic</strong> values<br />

add another dimension and reinforce the approach<br />

children need to have around successful friendships.<br />

Children at the CELC have ‘Godly playtime’ where<br />

they actively learn about values taught in the<br />

scriptures such as kindness and forgiveness.<br />

Their “Friendship Wall” celebrates friendships<br />

between the children, and they learn to fill their<br />

“friendship bucket’” with things that are important<br />

in making and keeping friends, like smiling, caring,<br />

and helping others. <br />


Tips for teaching young children about<br />

friendship:<br />

- Have patience and remember children are<br />

at different stages. Some may take longer<br />

to learn social skills.<br />

- Manners are important. Teach your children<br />

to say hello when they meet someone and<br />

look them in the eye. Show them how to<br />

make someone feel welcome.<br />

- Talk to your children about the things they<br />

can do to make friends, like smiling and<br />

helping others. Play games with them and<br />

act out how good friends behave.<br />

Above: Director at St Luke’s <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Early Learning Centre, Jo Bird.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Below: Children at St Luke’s <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Early Learning Centre are taught values<br />

and how to fill their “friendship buckets”.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

- Help your children to understand some<br />

people like to change friends and not take<br />

it personally if someone decides not to play<br />

with them.<br />

- Encourage a diverse range of friends for<br />

your children. Try making some friends<br />

across different cultures too.<br />

- Adults should model appropriate behaviour<br />

around their own friends. This includes how<br />

they talk about their friends.<br />

- Remember children don’t necessarily<br />

do what you say, but they will be listening,<br />

watching and taking in everything that<br />

you do.

Struggling students ‘Zone’<br />

into learning<br />


MLZ students thrive in a caring<br />

environment with a strength-based<br />

approach. Image: CEDP.

In the heart of Mount Druitt, a caring team is<br />

supporting young people struggling to stay<br />

connected with their schooling. A collaboration<br />

between Marist Brothers Australia and <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Education Diocese of Parramatta, Marist<br />

Learning Zone (MLZ) is getting students back<br />

on track for success in learning and life.<br />

“All the staff here are passionate about this work,”<br />

says Br Lawrie McCane FMS, one of the founding<br />

teachers at MLZ. “All of us see it as an urgent need<br />

for young people in this part of Western Sydney.<br />

It’s very satisfying.”<br />

MLZ is not designed as a replacement for school.<br />

In fact, the team works closely with students’<br />

schools to adopt class programs and curriculum<br />

they’re familiar with which then helps them return<br />

to school when they’re ready.<br />

“<br />

They come from 13 or 14<br />

different schools and we<br />

bring them to one place,”<br />

says Graeme Atkins, MLZ<br />

Senior Project Officer.<br />

“We’re managing anxiety,<br />

behaviour, trauma,<br />

learning, psychological<br />

issues, all in one complex.<br />

”<br />

Working to strengths<br />

“Once you get to know the students and find<br />

out the things they’re good at, you can begin to<br />

dig in and identify out a lot more that’s positive.<br />

We design our learning around what kids are good<br />

at,” explains Graeme.<br />

Br Lawrie adds, “We keep in touch a lot with the<br />

schools to work out the best way to get these<br />

young people on the right path and to keep them<br />

on track.”<br />

MLZ Lead Teacher Catherine Ruff communicates<br />

with the schools and follows each student’s progress<br />

when they return. The team also includes Br Fabricio<br />

Basso FMS and Br Jonnel Sisnero FMS.<br />

“We have a great dialogue with the schools and<br />

with parents,” says Br Lawrie. “We’re all working<br />

together to ensure the best possible outcome for<br />

these young people.”<br />

Changing pathways<br />

“A return to mainstream school doesn’t work for<br />

everyone,” adds Graeme. “We’ve had a lot of<br />

success at helping students with other pathways,<br />

whether it’s a job or a trade school.”<br />

Students can come and be heard, be themselves<br />

and harness their strengths in a calm and stress-free<br />

environment.<br />

“We’re changing this young person’s direction,”<br />

says Br Lawrie. “They’re a different child at home.<br />

They smile more. It changes the attitude of the young<br />

person, getting them excited about learning again.”<br />

“We had a boy here who got in a lot of trouble at<br />

school,” Br Lawrie reflects. “Incredibly disruptive…<br />

very serious things. He came here and settled well<br />

and found that he was able to have success with<br />

his work and was with people that liked him and<br />

who wanted the best for him.<br />

“Fast forward to when he returned to his school<br />

and we got this report back which said that this<br />

boy had changed his behaviour in the class so<br />

much that he was able to help other students<br />

catch up on their work. He was sitting with another<br />

student who was way behind and helping them to<br />

understand the work. The teacher was so impressed<br />

that this student who had been a real problem for<br />

her was now an amazing asset to her class.”<br />

Now in its fourth year, MLZ has seen almost<br />

100 students pass through its doors with around<br />

15 students attending at any one time. <br />

Brother Lawrie McKane FMS is strongly committed<br />

to equity for students in Western Sydney. Image: CEDP.<br />


“<br />

Human fraternity, compassion<br />

and community.<br />

”<br />

News from the <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Education Diocese of<br />

Parramatta Mission Team<br />


Director Mission Monica Officer thanked the<br />

community for walking with <strong>Catholic</strong> Education on<br />

the journey towards this new approach to sharing<br />

faith with children and young people in Western<br />

Sydney and the Blue Mountains.<br />

“This is a work in progress: we’ll keep listening to<br />

our community,” Monica said. “This is all about<br />

sharing the <strong>Catholic</strong> faith with the next generation.”<br />

Walking together on Religious Education journey<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education Diocese of Parramatta will<br />

soon release an updated version of its Draft New<br />

Curriculum for Religious Education, including<br />

responses to feedback from experts in theology and<br />

Religious Education. The Draft New Curriculum will<br />

also be named for the first time and you can stay<br />

in touch with updates on the <strong>Catholic</strong> Education<br />

Diocese of Parramatta Facebook page.<br />

Picture: Following COVID-19 restrictions,<br />

the Commissioning Mass was a joyful<br />

gathering for our <strong>Catholic</strong> community.<br />

Image: CEDP.<br />

For a number of years, members of the clergy,<br />

parents and carers, teachers and schools have been<br />

working together on this up-to-date approach to<br />

learning and teaching Religious Education. Faithful to<br />

Sacred Scripture, <strong>Catholic</strong> Teaching, Traditions and<br />

Values, the Draft New Curriculum is designed to be<br />

age appropriate for children and young people.<br />

The Draft New Curriculum will replace Sharing Our<br />

Story, the current curriculum that has been in place<br />

in the Diocese of Parramatta for more than 20 years.<br />

As a draft, changes will continue to be made based<br />

on feedback from parents, teachers and students.<br />

New teachers count their blessings<br />

New teachers and school principals recently<br />

gathered for a moving celebration at St Patrick’s<br />

Cathedral Parramatta. The annual <strong>Catholic</strong> Education<br />

Diocese of Parramatta Commissioning Mass is an<br />

opportunity for Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv and<br />

parish priests to bless and welcome these dedicated<br />

staff to their new roles.<br />


Since the beginning of 2020, there have been 12<br />

new school principals and 118 new teachers at<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education Diocese of Parramatta schools<br />

across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.<br />

As the Commissioning Mass was cancelled due<br />

to COVID-19 in 2020, the occasion saw many new<br />

staff gather together for the first time.<br />

In a stirring homily, Bishop Vincent called educators<br />

to be a catalyst for change, working for “human<br />

fraternity, compassion and community”. Referencing<br />

the inclusiveness of the first Australian <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

school established in Parramatta 201 years ago,<br />

Bishop Vincent spoke about shared commitment<br />

to <strong>Catholic</strong> education for all.<br />

St Michael’s Primary Baulkham Hills beginning<br />

teachers Annie Owusu and Courtney Orman are<br />

really enjoying their new roles teaching Year 3 and<br />

Year 1 respectively.<br />

“I love so many things,” Annie says. “Every day<br />

is a bit different: it’s really fun.” Annie was drawn<br />

to working in <strong>Catholic</strong> education through her own<br />

schooling at the <strong>Catholic</strong> Learning Community<br />

of St John XXIII in Stanhope Gardens and Gilroy<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> College Castle Hill. “I think it’s important that<br />

good values are instilled at a young age,” she said.<br />

Colleague Courtney Orman is excited about getting<br />

to know her students. “I love seeing the growth<br />

of kids,” she said. She identifies building strong<br />

relationships focused on learning as a key part of her<br />

work. “I also love the community aspect at a <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

school,” Courtney said.<br />

Jessica Karatovic, a Leonay local who has recently<br />

started working at St Canice’s Primary Katoomba,<br />

loves the “family feel” at her caring Blue Mountains<br />

workplace.<br />

“It’s warmth and welcome from everyone,”<br />

Jessica said. She also identifies “phenomenal<br />

support” from her colleagues as a success factor.<br />

“I’m surrounded by so many talented educators<br />

who have just embraced me.” She also comments<br />

that her students know she’s a beginner and help<br />

her along!<br />

Each beginning teacher left the memorable event<br />

with a gift to further nourish them in their vocation:<br />

a copy of Pope Francis’ new book Let Us Dream:<br />

the path to a better future. <br />

Support our seminarians to<br />

serve as good shepherds<br />

of our Church<br />

Your Faith | Your Foundation<br />

Priestly vocations are nurtured and formed in the womb<br />

of the family, the womb of the seminary, but also the<br />

womb of the larger <strong>Catholic</strong> community here in the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

Please give generously to the<br />

Bishop’s Good Shepherd Appeal<br />

yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/donate-seminary<br />

The Diocese of Parramatta is pleased<br />

to have released its first Modern Slavery<br />

Statement 2020, submitted in compliance<br />

with the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018.<br />

Read the statement here: parracatholic.org/resources

A prayer for the governance of the Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Lord God,<br />

whose blessings reach to the ends of the earth,<br />

you show us your love in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus,<br />

whom we call Saviour and Lord.<br />

Confirm us in our faith<br />

that we may walk together with you and one another.<br />

Open our hearts and our minds<br />

so that through the implementation of our governance review<br />

we may embody Christ in servant leadership.<br />

Unite ourselves in the bond of love<br />

And keep us faithful to all that is true.<br />

Send your blessing upon us,<br />

that what we have begun in the Spirit<br />

may be brought to completion by your power.<br />

We ask this through Christ our Lord.<br />

Amen.<br />

Read about the review of governance in our Diocese on page 46.<br />

Image: Carlos de Miguel, Unsplash.

Looking Deeper<br />

Looking deeper<br />

The following articles encourage deeper reflection,<br />

prayer and personal learning.

The Year of St Joseph<br />

“<br />

Joseph is a protector because he is able to hear<br />

God’s voice and be guided by his will.<br />

”<br />

It’s the Year of St Joseph, a time when we<br />

remember how Joseph faithfully put his<br />

family’s needs in front of his own, responding<br />

to God’s call readily and willingly, and had,<br />

as Pope Francis points out, the strength<br />

to show tenderness.<br />

“How does Joseph respond to his calling to be<br />

the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church?<br />

By being constantly attentive to God, open to the<br />

signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s<br />

plans, and not simply to his own. Joseph is a<br />

‘protector’ because he is able to hear God’s voice<br />

and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is<br />

all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his<br />

safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he<br />

is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly<br />

wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how<br />

to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we<br />

also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is<br />

Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we<br />

can protect others, so that we can protect creation!<br />

Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting,<br />

demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness.<br />

In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong<br />

and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart<br />

we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of<br />

the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and<br />

a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine<br />

openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid<br />

of goodness, of tenderness!” <br />

Excerpt From: For the beginning of the Petrine<br />

Ministry of the Bishop of Rome.<br />

Pope Francis. Image: Vatican News.<br />

Homily of Pope Francis<br />

Saint Peter’s Square<br />

Tuesday, 19 March 2013<br />

Solemnity of Saint Joseph<br />


St Joseph – an encounter<br />


An encounter is an unexpected meeting.<br />

Thus, there is always a surprise element in<br />

an encounter. Sometimes hearing the same<br />

story over and over, we can miss the element<br />

of surprise and take for granted that there is<br />

nothing new in what we are hearing.<br />

When we listen to the Scripture passages referring<br />

to St Joseph, does this happen?<br />

St Joseph as portrayed in Scripture is many things.<br />

He is, firstly, a real human figure, but as Pope<br />

Francis says in Patris Corde, one who hidden in the<br />

shadows still plays a significant part in salvation<br />

history. And it is in the shadows, that liminal place,<br />

that we can best encounter Joseph. What was that<br />

place like for him? What questions was he forced<br />

to answer as danger lurked around himself and his<br />

family? How did Joseph respond to his dreaming<br />

and intuition? What was it like for him to go in<br />

darkness towards an uncertain future? How can our<br />

encounter with Joseph help us as we stand in the<br />

chaos of our own time?<br />

Joseph carries forward the Jewish/Christian story.<br />

He is an important part of the prophetic and mythical<br />

story linking the First and Second Testaments.<br />

Remember, as Richard Rohr writes, myth refers<br />

to what is always true. (Rohr, The Universal Christ,<br />

Ch 14) Joseph is there to remind us of the forgiving<br />

and compassionate God whose love permeates<br />

Jewish history.<br />

Joseph is written into the Scripture also to link<br />

Jesus to his ancestral past and to verify that Jesus<br />

is of the House of David. This Joseph is also<br />

prophetic. Joseph takes us back to that archetype<br />

of the one who saves. He invites us to remember<br />

that other Joseph, who saved Egypt and his Jewish<br />

family. By retracing the path of the prophets, this<br />

Joseph validates what the prophets of old have<br />

proclaimed. This is the great myth: God’s saving<br />

power is amongst us and within us.<br />

In Joseph’s day, possibly about 5BC, there was little<br />

justice to be had for anyone who defied the power<br />

of the Roman Empire and its representatives. Joseph<br />

had to carry justice within himself as he moved from<br />

one country to another and back again, according<br />

to the Scriptures. His acts of justice were done to<br />

preserve human life on one level, but his part in the<br />

great story of Incarnation also enabled the fulfilment<br />

of the Messianic prophecy. Joseph’s acts of justice<br />

Refugees: La Sagrada Familia by Kelly Latimore.<br />

Image: © Kelly Latimore. kellylatimoreicons.com.<br />

flowed from deep archetypal roots. The effect of his<br />

acts flowed through history not for himself, but for<br />

those whom he loved and for future generations<br />

who would see God’s power wielded through him.<br />

The poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins describes<br />

Joseph, the graced and just man:<br />

I say móre: the just man justices;<br />

Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;<br />

Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —<br />

Christ — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,<br />

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his…<br />

Gerard Manley Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire.<br />

On the feast of Joseph the Worker, we encounter this<br />

man of justice whose life journey fulfilled a prophecy,<br />

saved lives and, while staying in the shadows, carried<br />

light. His story, one of silence and courage, inspires<br />

us to do the same. <br />

With thanks to Colleen O’Sullivan rsj and the Sisters<br />

of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart.<br />


Image: Laura H, Shutterstock.<br />

Find the key to your heart;you will see this key<br />

“will also open the door of the Kingdom.

Looking Deeper<br />

Hearts of stone and<br />

hearts of flesh<br />


We are all called to convert from a “heart<br />

of stone” and replace it with a “heart of flesh”<br />

and mercy.<br />

It is reported that St Francis de Sales, on meeting<br />

people in Geneva, would ask them: “How is your<br />

heart?”<br />

That’s not a bad question for each of us to ask<br />

ourselves occasionally.<br />

Certainly, one is struck at times, at how much anger<br />

and resentment exists today in the Church, and<br />

society, at so many levels. That’s not a recipe for<br />

peace and joy in life.<br />

The tragedy is, that if we do not forgive those who<br />

hurt us, we actually destroy ourselves and become<br />

paralysed, unable to move forward in discipleship.<br />

Let’s face it. The problems of most of us are rarely<br />

theological. They are rooted much deeper — in a<br />

disordered and diseased heart.<br />

That is why St John Chrysostom tells all of us:<br />

“Find the key to your heart; you will see this key<br />

will also open the door of the Kingdom.”<br />

Sadly, one does still come across those who act<br />

as if they believe the opposite. They are already<br />

‘in’ and they seem to want to close the doors and<br />

keep the ‘others’ out. Effectively they want to throw<br />

away the key!<br />

It’s bad enough when this happens in our wider<br />

society and the stranger – often in the person<br />

of the refugee in peril – is excluded.<br />

It’s worse when it occurs amongst the followers<br />

of Jesus.<br />

The real scandal is that this small vocal minority<br />

so self-righteously opposes our Holy Father<br />

Pope Francis, as he preaches Gospel mercy<br />

and compassion.<br />

I shudder to think of how many have left the<br />

Church, because of the meanness and rigorism<br />

of these so-called ‘good ‘<strong>Catholic</strong>s whose specialty<br />

is judgemental gossip.<br />

Thankfully, the People of God are also blessed with<br />

so many healing pastors, laypeople, and those in<br />

consecrated life – everywhere spreading the Good<br />

News. They are the silent majority and deserve more<br />

praise and support.<br />

It’s very simple. Pope Francis is encouraging us<br />

to “take heart” – to repent, confess our failures<br />

honestly and re-focus on the Gospel of Mercy.<br />

We are all called to convert from a “heart of stone”<br />

and replace it with a “heart of flesh” and mercy.<br />

The merciful Father – whom Jesus of Nazareth<br />

called his “Abba” – unlocks our hearts and graces<br />

us to discover the Kingdom coming in the ordinary<br />

lives of so many good people all around us.<br />

That is the ‘key’ which unlocks the ‘door of the<br />

Kingdom’.<br />

Find the key to your heart; you will see this key will<br />

also open the door of the Kingdom. <br />

Br Mark O’Connor FMS is the Vicar for<br />

Communications in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


A cuppa with the priest<br />

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ<br />

Holy Family Parish,<br />

Mount Druitt<br />


Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Holy Family Parish in Mt Druitt resides in the<br />

largest urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait<br />

Islander community in Australia. Fr Gregory<br />

(Greg) explains how God ‘nudged’ him to<br />

become its parish priest.<br />

Fr Greg is full of optimism. His parish is one of the<br />

most disadvantaged in Sydney, but he sees hope.<br />

He explains a sign of this is the sudden drop in graffiti<br />

in an area of his parish where he’s working with other<br />

agencies on initiatives to connect with the community.<br />

It was as simple as helping the young people of the<br />

area record their rap music. Suddenly they felt listened<br />

to. Then they started feeling pride for where they lived<br />

and wanted to make it better. The graffiti stopped.<br />

Fr Greg is a Jesuit priest. Unlike some priests who<br />

felt they knew the Holy Spirit was calling them<br />

to their vocation, Fr Greg openly admits the Holy<br />

Spirit operated through other people, starting with<br />

his parents.<br />

“When my brother told them he wanted to become<br />

a priest, my parents said: ‘But we think Greg would<br />

be the one better-suited to be a priest’,” he says.<br />

This is the path<br />

for my life.<br />

Fr Greg pondered on that, eventually looked into<br />

it, and joined the seminary where he studied for<br />

12 years. It meant he had to give up a girlfriend,<br />

a job that he loved and a senior volunteer role<br />

with St Vincent de Paul.<br />

At the time, he says, all he could do was “trust the<br />

process.” For him, this meant listening to the people<br />

around him who somehow seemed to know what<br />

he should do.<br />

Into the margins<br />

Jesuits go “into the margins” and “be where they<br />

(marginalised people) are”. That includes areas you<br />

don’t expect to see a priest, including in science.<br />

Fr Greg has six degrees including a Bachelor of<br />

Science and a Master of Science. His first job was<br />

as a chemist in agriculture, separating lanolin from<br />

wool in Wagga Wagga, where he grew up.<br />

Having spent time in Brisbane as an assistant priest,<br />

he was urged to take the role of parish priest at<br />

Mt Druitt. Like all his other moves, he hadn’t counted<br />

on being successful or even liking this role, but again<br />

he trusted the process. Now he’s certain. “This is the<br />

path for my life,” he says.<br />

The Mt Druitt parish leases six charitable businesses<br />

on site. Managing the business side of this fills his<br />

hours alongside parish work, aided by volunteers<br />

with senior business backgrounds. He is also grateful<br />

to have been able to study leadership through the<br />

international Jesuit formation program. He calls<br />

on these skills to deal with the complexities of his<br />

parish, but could still use more hands-on help.<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Knowing what it’s like to struggle leads<br />

to greater generosity<br />

The suburbs of the parish are home to the largest<br />

urban Aboriginal community in Australia, with the<br />

lowest median house price of anywhere in Sydney.<br />

Some of the issues he sees are high unemployment,<br />

mental illness, health issues, domestic violence,<br />

low literacy and truancy. At the same time, his<br />

parishioners who stem from many different cultures,<br />

tend to out-do more affluent parishes with donations<br />

and food drives. “They have a better understanding<br />

of what it is like to struggle financially,” he explains.<br />

The field hospital<br />

The COVID-19 lockdown gave him a chance to<br />

read more of Pope Francis’ works and reflect on<br />

the role Holy Family Parish can play. “We are the<br />

‘field hospital’ Pope Francis talks about,” he says.<br />

He’s aiming to put together strategies for children<br />

aged under five and their parents, as this is a good<br />

place to start for lasting change.<br />

He also hopes to encourage those without jobs<br />

to volunteer to get the sense of satisfaction and<br />

purpose volunteering brings.<br />

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ and parishioners on Palm<br />

Sunday <strong>2021</strong>. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

In the meantime, his outreach, which gave him<br />

a crash course in rap music, shows him how<br />

working with other agencies can yield positive<br />

results. “We can achieve so much more when<br />

we’re not working as silos,” he says. <br />

If you have business experience and would like<br />

to help Fr Gregory manage an aspect of the work<br />

at Holy Family Parish, he’d love to hear from you!<br />

Contact him at gregory@holyfamily.org.au.<br />

Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ celebrates<br />

Palm Sunday Mass <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

Holy Family Church at Emerton.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Holy Family Parish,<br />

Mt Druitt: a family with heart<br />

“ ”<br />

It’s one thing to go to Mass,<br />

but to give back, is another thing.<br />


Serving the needs of some of the most<br />

marginalised and disadvantaged people<br />

in Western Sydney can be a challenge,<br />

but Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt, see it as<br />

an opportunity for living Christ’s mission.<br />

“You experience so much here at the parish,” Parish<br />

Secretary Malia Lolesio explains. “You get to witness<br />

people’s joys and struggles alongside the poverty of<br />

some of the people.<br />

“But that also brings out a richness in compassion,”<br />

she adds.<br />

Malia has been working for the parish as one of<br />

its few paid staff for eight years, and has been a<br />

parishioner for over 30 years. She was spending<br />

most, if not all, of her time at the church anyway,<br />

so applying for the secretary role was an easy<br />

transition, she concludes.<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

“Working here and being involved in the parish has<br />

made it a hard place to leave. In my role, I give so<br />

much, but I have received so much more in my<br />

interactions with parishioners and the community.<br />

“It’s one thing to go to Mass, but to give back, is<br />

another thing.”<br />

Giving back to those in the local community on the<br />

margins is a core practice of the Jesuit community<br />

who have run the parish since 2008.<br />

Fr Gregory (Greg) Jacobs SJ, the current parish<br />

priest, came to the parish in 2014, and serves the<br />

community alongside his Jesuit brother, Fr Patrick<br />

Mullins SJ.<br />

“I’ve fallen in love with the place. I love the<br />

work here and what we’re trying to do,”<br />

Fr Greg explains.<br />

Looking at the whiteboard situated in front of the<br />

parish office, it’s amazing to see how many different<br />

organisations and groups utilise the site.<br />

Welcoming the wider community<br />

“Holy Family Parish is a very welcoming parish,”<br />

Parish Pastoral Council Chair Marissa Logronio tells<br />

me, saying that the facilities on site support not just<br />

the parish community, but the wider area too.<br />

Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and<br />

Narcotics Anonymous share facilities alongside the<br />

Legion of Mary, Tongan Sunday schools and a free<br />

podiatry clinic run by Western Sydney University.<br />

“Holy Family’s doors are open to anyone in need,”<br />

Marissa says.<br />

On the site itself sits the church, the <strong>Catholic</strong> primary<br />

school and childcare centre, the Baabayn Aboriginal<br />

Corporation, the Shed and the St Vincent de Paul Hub.<br />

Jesuit Social Service’s Ignite Store provides food,<br />

clothes and furniture which can be purchased by<br />

members of the community at a very reasonable<br />

price. <strong>Catholic</strong>Care’s Aboriginal <strong>Catholic</strong> Services<br />

provides a safe space for one of the largest<br />

Indigenous communities in Australia.<br />

Five choirs make heavenly music<br />

Music is a great joy of the parish. They are blessed<br />

with five multicultural choirs who sing fortnightly or<br />

monthly at the two main Sunday Masses alongside<br />

musicians and cantors.<br />

“We especially like it when our parishioners sing<br />

traditional music in their own language – you feel<br />

like you are in heaven,” Fr Greg says.<br />

Fr Greg explained that it was hard to discourage<br />

parishioners from singing due to the pandemic<br />

restrictions, as music is “in the veins” of their<br />

culture, particularly those from the Pacific Islander<br />

communities.<br />

During the peak of the pandemic, the primary school<br />

worked with food charity OzHarvest to produce over<br />

100 food hampers that were delivered to families in<br />

the local community.<br />

Malia described one such drop-off for an elderly<br />

couple who weren’t able to leave their home because<br />

of their health conditions, and their emotion when the<br />

food package was delivered, knowing that they were<br />

being looked out for.<br />

Marissa adds, “Holy Family has always shown their<br />

care and concern, not only in the spiritual sense not<br />

only to their parishioners, but to anyone who comes<br />

to the parish for help.<br />

“It’s difficult to describe Holy Family in only three<br />

words, however, the ones that come to mind are<br />

‘welcoming’, ‘diversified’ and ‘enriching’.” <br />

One of the five choirs at Holy Family Parish.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Fr Gregory and Parish Secretary Malia Lolesio.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


Knowing your story<br />

is key to living truthfully<br />

“ ”<br />

Your story will show you what you<br />

have learned to manage life.<br />


Having a good relationship with yourself<br />

means knowing and accepting your story,<br />

even the bits that you might have consciously<br />

or unconsciously forgotten, says counsellor<br />

Ron Perry. Once you understand this, you’re<br />

on the road to peace with yourself and<br />

openness to others.<br />

Ron Perry, counsellor and psychologist for over 30<br />

years, aims to help people live the best life they can.<br />

People seek his help when things aren’t going the<br />

way they want, when they feel out of balance, unable<br />

to cope with a particular challenge that life has<br />

thrown at them. Sometimes they feel deep emotional<br />

pain. Many people’s issues are around relationships<br />

that aren’t going well.<br />

The thing to remember, he says, is that everyone<br />

has limitations and struggles.<br />

“We’re all going through a struggle,”<br />

he says. “And everyone else is too.”<br />

The first step, he says, is accepting that struggle.<br />

The next step is learning to survive the struggles that<br />

life presents us with, with the resources we have,<br />

some within, some coming through our relationships.<br />

These differ for everyone, explains Ron.<br />

When presented with a client with an issue they<br />

are unhappy about, he works with them to uncover<br />

their story. “Your story will show you what you have<br />

learned to manage life,” he says.<br />

A person’s story may seem straightforward,<br />

but dig a little deeper and it’s not necessarily<br />

so. People have a way of compensating for,<br />

or forgetting, experiences and this often has<br />

a profound impact on our lives and values.<br />

He gives an example of someone who may be having<br />

trouble maintaining relationships, but can’t work out<br />

why. If, for example, that person’s parents didn’t<br />

model good relationships, they’ve unconsciously<br />

picked up unhelpful values around relationships.<br />

These unconscious values then play out in their adult<br />

life. With the counsellor’s help, they can uncover why<br />

they might hold a set of unhelpful beliefs, examine<br />

them, and decide whether they want to change them.<br />

This can depend on the deeper values they hold.<br />

He sees breakthroughs, such as when a person<br />

realises and accepts how their story has impacted<br />

their lives, as a step in the healing process.<br />

Over the years, Ron has learned that no two people<br />

will heal the same way. “Emotional healing happens<br />

in its own way in its own time,” he says. “It can<br />

be quite miraculous the way a breakthrough can<br />

happen unexpectedly.”<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Ron feels that a sense of belonging helps people<br />

connect to others and their place in the world,<br />

which is why affirming relationships are so important.<br />

At the same time, he advises against comparisons<br />

with others.<br />

“There is a richness in everyone,” he says,<br />

“but no two people are the same. Don’t compare<br />

yourself to others. You are your own story.”<br />

When you’ve understood that, says Ron, you’re better<br />

able to appreciate yourself, what’s important to you,<br />

and what strengths you can draw on as you go through<br />

life. Then, says Ron, “You’ll be in a better place to live<br />

your life being true to oneself, more likely to be able to<br />

love oneself, and one’s neighbour.” <br />

Ron Perry can be contacted at ronperry.com.au.<br />

Ron Perry. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

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visit our website at www.cis.catholic.edu.au<br />

Have you been considering broadening<br />

your faith understanding?<br />

Wondering where to go next in your pastoral<br />

activities? What paths study may lead to?<br />


“<br />

God wants to be friendly.<br />

In fact, God is funny at times.<br />

”<br />

A relationship with God needs<br />

a relationship with yourself<br />


Sr Lois Ann Richardi learned the meaning of real<br />

joy from St Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa).<br />

She is a spiritual director who helps those<br />

wishing to have a closer relationship with God<br />

open to what God is saying to them. She shared<br />

her wisdom with us.<br />

God wants to be friendly. In fact, God is funny at<br />

times, according to spiritual director, and Sister of the<br />

Holy Family of Nazareth, Sr Lois Ann Richardi csfn.<br />

People seek guidance from Sr Lois when they<br />

are hurting or in crisis and want to know why.<br />

Others hope spiritual direction will guide them when<br />

they are not feeling fulfilled. Sometimes, people feel<br />

they know what God is asking of them, yet want<br />

clarity around this.<br />

Spiritual direction focuses on our desired relationship<br />

with God. A spiritual director or spiritual companion<br />

helps us to deepen our spirituality by helping us pay<br />

attention to thoughts and emotions. Rather than<br />

leading us in any particular way, the spiritual director<br />

will accompany us on our journey closer to God.<br />

“We usually have the answers to the<br />

questions that concern us within ourselves”<br />

says Sr Lois Ann. “The key is vulnerability,<br />

to be completely honest with ourselves<br />

while allowing God to be completely<br />

honest with us.”<br />

She admits it is difficult for us to be honest with<br />

ourselves. “We have protected those skeletons<br />

for so long,” she says about the parts of our story<br />

we have consciously or unconsciously chosen to<br />

bury, suppress or forget. “Once we look at them<br />

realistically, we become free and open to what<br />

God wishes us to hear.”<br />

She smiles a little when we discuss atheists who<br />

do not believe in God. “There is no such thing<br />

as a self-proclaimed atheist who claims that God<br />

does not exist, yet at the same time loves God’s<br />

creation and humankind - for God is love!”<br />

We talk about fundamentalists who set parameters<br />

and rules around religious beliefs. She feels that<br />

such inflexible thinking hinders us from knowing<br />

and enjoying God. After all, says Sr Lois Ann, there<br />

are only two fundamentals of our faith – to love God<br />

and to love our brothers and sisters.<br />

When asked what a “free” person looks like, Sr Lois<br />

Ann refers to the time she spent with St Teresa of<br />

Calcutta (Mother Teresa).<br />

“Despite conflicting emotions, enormous pressures,<br />

and opposing forces in her life, Mother Teresa was,<br />

for me, the epitome of a ‘free’ person who followed<br />

the inspiration of St Augustine: ‘love and do what<br />

you like’,” says Sr Lois Ann. “This set her free to be<br />

a channel of God’s love and joy to all people.” <br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Sr Lois Ann’s tips for<br />

a closer relationship<br />

with God<br />

- LOVE and do what you like.<br />

- Look closely within yourself, for selfknowledge<br />

leads to freedom and joy.<br />

- Believe that crisis is a chance for personal<br />

growth. Be open to what you can learn in<br />

a crisis.<br />

- Trust that God wants a relationship with<br />

you even more than you want a relationship<br />

with God.<br />

- Notice how God gets your attention.<br />

Is it through dreams, nature, silence,<br />

circumstances…? Listen!<br />

Sr Lois Ann Richardi is a spiritual director. Image: David Wallace.<br />


Diocese of<br />

Parramatta releases<br />

‘unprecedented’<br />

report on Church<br />

governance<br />


The review of governance was a<br />

recommendation of the Royal Commission into<br />

Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse<br />

and The Light from the Southern Cross report.<br />

In their findings Susan and Murray said: “Our<br />

overarching assessment of ecclesial and civil<br />

governance practice in the Diocese of Parramatta<br />

is that it is generally excellent, notwithstanding our<br />

recommendations for some improvements identified<br />

during the independent review. We were impressed<br />

with many elements of ecclesial and civil governance<br />

in the Diocese and these are contained in the<br />

commendations.”<br />

Despite its heavy focus on governance and<br />

management structures, Chair of the Diocesan<br />

Finance Council Chris Maley said: “The focus of this<br />

report is mission front and centre.”<br />

Chair of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, Bella Reyes,<br />

praised the report and its findings as it found that the<br />

existing good governance practices are “balance[ing]<br />

the need of a multitude of groups”.<br />

The recommendations will be studied and<br />

progressively implemented in the coming months. <br />

Joseph Younes is the Head of Communications<br />

in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of<br />

Parramatta, on 26 March, released a governance<br />

report that he described as “unprecedented in scope<br />

and importance” during a small ceremony to mark<br />

the historic event.<br />

The report, Review of Governance for the Diocese<br />

of Parramatta June 2020 – February <strong>2021</strong>, was<br />

tasked with looking at the “civil and ecclesial<br />

governance, strategic planning, and leadership”<br />

structures of the Diocese of Parramatta, Bishop<br />

Vincent said.<br />

Commissioned by Bishop Vincent in 2020, it was<br />

based on the recommendations of two significant<br />

reports: the Final Report from the Royal Commission<br />

into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse<br />

and The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting<br />

Co-responsible Governance of the <strong>Catholic</strong> Church<br />

in Australia.<br />

These two reports recommended <strong>Catholic</strong> religious<br />

organisations review their “governance of parishes<br />

and dioceses in Australia to consider best practice<br />

approaches to governance” and “provide insights to<br />

improve ecclesial governance practice,” according<br />

to the Diocesan governance review.<br />

Susan Pascoe AM and Murray Baird, who conducted<br />

the governance review, interviewed more than<br />

75 people and reviewed a multitude of documents<br />

and practices relating to civil and canonical<br />

structure of the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta<br />

with Murray Baird and Susan Pascoe.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Access the report at parracatholic.org/resources.<br />

Watch the release of the report here<br />

youtube.com/watch?v=BX4n1hGiTlI<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Continuing the Journey<br />


With the Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> Church’s Plenary<br />

Council due to meet in October <strong>2021</strong>, the<br />

Instrumentum Laboris, or Working Document<br />

entitled Continuing the Journey, was released<br />

in February. The document outlines the issues<br />

that parishioners around Australia have raised<br />

in a summarised ‘update’ of the <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Church today.<br />

Invoking the intercession of Our Lady Help of<br />

Christians, with the urging of St Mary of the Cross<br />

MacKillop to “never see a need without doing<br />

something about it”, Continuing the Journey tells us<br />

that the Plenary Council is an “opportunity to consider<br />

what steps must be taken to awaken awareness of<br />

the missionary vocation of every <strong>Catholic</strong>.”<br />

We are not bound to wait until the conclusion of the<br />

Plenary Council before we act on the ideas contained<br />

in this Instrumentum Laboris or Working Document,<br />

which calls the Council to find “new ways to share<br />

the joy of the Gospel, with each other and with the<br />

communities in which we live.” (194)<br />

Now as the preparation phase draws to its climax<br />

in the forthcoming agenda, Continuing the Journey<br />

provides a breathing space, with history, theology,<br />

reflection, suggestion and prayer.<br />

Collecting all we have learned into a single readable<br />

document, it encourages us to consider all the needs<br />

we have identified, and then to “do whatever He<br />

tells you” (John 2:5). We can follow the example of<br />

Mary at the foot of the cross and “stand in solidarity<br />

and compassion with each other, particularly the<br />

wounded, the poor and the traumatised. We, too,<br />

are called to be witnesses to the suffering of Jesus:<br />

relived in the many survivors of sexual abuse; in the<br />

pain of our First Nations peoples; and in the lives<br />

of all who suffer”. (205)<br />

The treasure-trove<br />

There is a treasure trove of references from the Bible,<br />

the documents of Vatican II, and Popes St John<br />

Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. Research and<br />

other works of the Church in Australia, as well as the<br />

reports of the Listening and Dialogue phase – our<br />

own voices – also feature.<br />

Continuing the Journey shows how diverse<br />

sectors of our complex, beautiful Church can be<br />

appreciated and affirmed. Taken together, the array<br />

of suggestions build up to a large but by no means<br />

impossible task, with something for each of us to do.<br />

Continuing the Journey is well worth reading and<br />

reflecting on with others, especially those who have<br />

changed their involvement in the Church. Delegates<br />

(now known as Members) of the Plenary Council here<br />

in the Diocese of Parramatta are willing to hear from<br />

you and participate in your discussions. Perhaps there<br />

is something you would like us especially to bear in<br />

mind as we prepare for the first Assembly in October?<br />

Your prayers for the Council and its Members are<br />

appreciated. May you find encouragement and<br />

inspiration in continuing the journey! <br />

Plenary Council Members can be contacted<br />

via comms@parracatholic.org<br />

Wendy Goonan is a Member of the Plenary<br />

Council from the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Continuing the Journey can be found at<br />

plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/instrumentum-laboris/<br />


‘Circle’ offers a<br />

space for women<br />

to connect<br />



<strong>Catholic</strong>Care’s Community Outreach Worker,<br />

Sally Butler, at the Springwood Drop-In Centre.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care Western Sydney and the Blue<br />

Mountains operates a drop-in centre in the<br />

heart of Springwood in the Blue Mountains<br />

where all members of the community are<br />

welcome to come in and connect.<br />

They say things happen for a reason, and exactly<br />

why Leanne took a spare moment to pop into<br />

Springwood Drop-In Centre became apparent<br />

not long after she walked in the door.<br />

“I dropped in to sit while my son was having blood<br />

tests next door,” she recalls. “I ended up speaking<br />

with Sally, the lady who runs the Women’s Circle.<br />

I was invited to join and I accepted because my<br />

other women’s meeting had been cancelled due<br />

to COVID.”<br />

Leanne is one of a growing number of local women<br />

joining <strong>Catholic</strong>Care Western Sydney and the Blue<br />

Mountains’ Women’s Circle. The Circle started this<br />

year as a way of helping women to build social<br />

connections and friendships.<br />

Community Outreach Worker Sally Butler initiated the<br />

program, after receiving an Australia Post grant, and<br />

facilitates the gatherings.<br />

“The concept of women sitting in circle is an ancient,<br />

ages old tradition,” explains Sally. “It is a gift of time<br />

out from the everyday, to connect with self and<br />

others, to refill your cup and bring a little magic into<br />

your life, doing something you wouldn’t normally.<br />

“Having a group program like a Women’s Circle<br />

encourages women to make a commitment to<br />

self-care. When women take care of themselves,<br />

they are stronger and more resilient, and this has a<br />

roll-on effect within their families and communities,”<br />

she says.<br />

The Women’s Circle is held fortnightly on Fridays at<br />

the Springwood Drop-In Centre from 10am–11.30am.<br />

Women sit in a circle and share conversation, take<br />

part in writing, craft and other activities. Each Circle<br />

ends with a guided meditation written by Sally.<br />

“The women seem to really enjoy the<br />

meditation—it’s important they leave<br />

feeling ‘uplifted’ or nurtured to a degree,”<br />

she’s observed.<br />

Leanne described the Circle as “caring and<br />

heart-centred in today’s world”.<br />

“It gives me some respite in my difficult life of caring<br />

for others,” she admits. “The community and caring<br />

aspect reflect my own values. I grow, learn and am<br />

enriched, which then blesses others.” <br />

To find out more about the Women’s Circle,<br />

contact the <strong>Catholic</strong>Care Springwood Drop-In<br />

Centre at ccss.org.au/springwood-centre/<br />

or phone (02) 8843 2545.<br />


Making friends<br />

from other faiths<br />


With Sydney one of the most multicultural<br />

and multifaith communities on the planet,<br />

it’s worth taking the time to check out recent<br />

initiatives that aim to build interfaith respect<br />

and friendship.<br />

There are over 300 ancestries and 215 languages<br />

spoken amongst those who live in Sydney, who<br />

also follow more than 150 religions or spiritualities.<br />

The staff of the Columban Centre for Christian-<br />

Muslim Relations engage this diversity. They<br />

brought young adults of mixed faiths and cultural<br />

backgrounds together to form Youth PoWR<br />

(Parliament of the World’s Religions), who developed<br />

The Sydney Statement: Building Bridges Between<br />

Believers from Different Religions.<br />

Youth Project Leader Ryan Epondulan, a parishioner<br />

of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills, says,<br />

“The Sydney Statement details how to engage in<br />

interfaith relations with others in daily life.”<br />

Suggestions in the document show how people can<br />

better understand other faiths and why this is good<br />

for our society as well as individuals. Speaking at the<br />

launch of the Statement, Youth PoWR Committee<br />

Member, Zubaida Alrubai, used an example from her<br />

childhood to share the importance of being able to<br />

reach out to one another beyond prejudices.<br />

She described the comfort she felt as a child and new<br />

migrant, when three Year 12 students came up to<br />

her in the playground and started speaking with her,<br />

making her feel she wasn’t alone. She understands<br />

many barriers including language, culture and religion<br />

that sometimes make people feel like an outsider.<br />

“Those walls shouldn’t be taken down forcefully,<br />

but just through someone lending a hand or through<br />

someone saying, ‘Hi, how are you going?’,” she said.<br />

Mates don’t fight<br />

In April, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop<br />

of Parramatta, welcomed leaders from Muslim,<br />

Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and other Christian<br />

denominations at an interfaith Iftar dinner during the<br />

month of Ramadan.<br />

While Bishop Vincent and others remarked on the<br />

willingness of Australian religious leaders to get<br />

together to build understanding, Rodney Hyman AM<br />

from the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies summed<br />

up why understanding people of other faiths was<br />

important. “If we get to know each other, there would<br />

be a lot less fighting, because you don’t fight with<br />

your mates,” he said. <br />

Picture: Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop<br />

of Parramatta with Youth PoWR Committee Member,<br />

Zubaida Alrubai. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Tips for building bridges<br />

- Look out for events designed to share<br />

understandings between faiths (hint:<br />

suggestions are in The Sydney Statement).<br />

- Research your faith and others to see the<br />

similarities and differences.<br />

- Welcome others from other faiths and treat<br />

them as you would any other friend.<br />

Find The Sydney Statement at<br />


“The meaning of life<br />

is to find your gift.<br />

And the purpose of life<br />

is to give it away.”<br />

Pablo Picasso.<br />

Seventh year Seminarian Jack Elkazzi.<br />

Image: Diocese of Paramatta.<br />

The future of our Church<br />

“ ”<br />

The beauty of the call to the ministerial priesthood.<br />

Seminarians are the future of our Church. Here in<br />

the Diocese of Parramatta, we are blessed to have<br />

our own facilities at Harris Park dedicated to the<br />

formation of our future priests – the Holy Spirit<br />

Seminary.<br />


For Jack Elkazzi, seventh year seminarian,<br />

experiencing World Youth Day in 2008 was the start<br />

of his journey towards the priesthood. “The seed was<br />

planted, and I think the Holy Spirit gradually helped<br />

me to change,” he says.<br />

Pope Francis has spoken about the “beauty of the<br />

call to the ministerial priesthood”. He describes<br />

the seminary as a place of growth for seminarians,<br />

identifying three key aspects: a house of prayer,<br />

study and communion.<br />

He also talks about the humility of the priest for him<br />

to be an effective agent in evangelisation and that<br />

such progress takes time. It can take between seven<br />

and eleven years for the formation of a priest.<br />

Third year seminarian, Matthew Ramirez’s journey<br />

took a different path. Matthew was at university<br />

studying medical science when he came across<br />

a <strong>Catholic</strong> Society group and started to get more<br />

involved. Three years ago, he had a realisation that<br />

God wanted him to be His priest.<br />


The formation of priests is essential for the life<br />

of our Church and our faith community<br />

The seminary not only provides education in theology,<br />

psychology, music and public speaking but also<br />

provides a lived experience for the seminarians<br />

– living together as a community. Here they have<br />

classes on human formation, attend university and<br />

have pastoral placements to enable them to develop<br />

relationships with our faith family within the Diocese.<br />

Some learn to drive here, some learn to cook here<br />

and they all learn to live the virtues and to support<br />

each other.<br />

Father John Hogan has been Rector at the Seminary<br />

for 14 years. “I’m continually inspired by the interest<br />

of young men who stay here for the sake of Christ<br />

himself,” he says. “I find that a great inspiration to see<br />

the youth and their energy come into the place.” <br />

Your gift today will support our<br />

seminarians as they prepare to<br />

serve as future shepherds and<br />

disciples of Jesus Christ.<br />

To donate, please call 02 8838 3482 or visit<br />

yourcatholicfoundation.org.au/appeal-future<br />

Third year seminarian Matthew Ramirez and Father John Hogan.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Classifieds<br />

To place your ad in <strong>Catholic</strong> <strong>Outlook</strong> and reach over<br />

44,000 families in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains<br />

contact Christina Gretton at comms@parracatholic.org<br />

Take Action<br />


in our Diocese during Refugee Week <strong>2021</strong><br />

Volunteer, donate food or fundraise<br />

Get info on how your school or parish can help<br />


Hugh McDermott MP<br />


Standing<br />

up for our<br />

community.<br />

House of Welcome,<br />

Granville<br />

Jesuit Refugee Service,<br />

Parramatta<br />

Contact Prospect Electorate Office,<br />

2/679 The Horsley Drive, Smithfield NSW<br />

Telephone (02) 9756 4766<br />

Email prospect@parliament.nsw.gov.au<br />

Authorised by Hugh McDermott MP, 2/679 The Horsley Dr, Smithfield NSW produced using Parliamentary Entitlements May <strong>2021</strong>.

We begin with hello and a smile<br />

“ ”<br />

Make a friend, be a friend and take that friend to Christ.<br />

Each year hundreds of catechists go into<br />

public schools in Western Sydney and the<br />

Blue Mountains to share their faith in God<br />

with thousands of students.<br />

The first step is not the curriculum, but the greeting<br />

and the smile as catechists connect with the office<br />

staff, the classroom teacher and the students in the<br />

classroom.<br />

There is an old saying that goes: “Make a friend,<br />

be a friend and take that friend to Christ.” It’s great<br />

guidance for anyone wishing to spread the Good<br />

News of the Gospel.<br />

The order outlined in that saying is important.<br />

Catechists need to build trust before they are listened<br />

to, and their lessons taken seriously. Years later<br />

individual students recall their ‘scripture’ teacher and<br />

what they had said in Special Religious Education<br />

(SRE) lessons because of the friendship and care<br />

extended to them.<br />

Fiona, a catechist at the small school Warragamba<br />

Public, has now taught several members of one family<br />

and they happily greet her at the local shops. Fiona<br />

has even come to know the mum who acknowledges<br />

the value SRE is providing her children.<br />


Students who volunteer to be catechists in their later<br />

years of high school often recall with joy their own<br />

experiences in Primary SRE. Annie, an SRE catechist<br />

in Windsor, was delighted when she caught up with<br />

a former student who said: “Hi Miss do you<br />

remember me? You were my SRE teacher several<br />

years ago.” Annie was training this student now<br />

at Bede Polding College to be a catechist herself!<br />

Friendships have blossomed between catechists<br />

too. In some cases, the friendship has lasted for<br />

decades. Many of these catechists meet socially<br />

outside of their ministry, sharing stories of their<br />

families and celebrating special events together.<br />

Leonie from Quakers Hill gives thanks for how<br />

being a catechist has enriched her spiritual life and<br />

her faith. She now enjoys sharing her newfound<br />

knowledge and commitment with other members<br />

of the parish catechist team.<br />

There are those stories too of where being<br />

a catechist can be intergenerational. It’s not<br />

uncommon for a catechist who has taught SRE<br />

for more than 40 years, to have a child and even<br />

grandchild involved in the ministry. In the Cassar<br />

family, husband Sam and wife Connie have taught<br />

SRE for three decades, their daughters Stephanie<br />

Zammit and Katherine Velasco are catechists as well.<br />

Now, Katherine’s son Nicholas in Year 10 at Patrician<br />

Brothers College, Blacktown, is a trained catechist<br />

in the local Blacktown public school.<br />

For some years now, Pope Francis has asked that<br />

“going to the peripheries” to share God’s Word<br />

is a priority for all of us. This is what catechists<br />

do each week when they go into public schools<br />

and witness to their faith those who often are not<br />

part of the church community. They are not waiting<br />

to greet these community members at the church<br />

door but are actively reaching out via the public<br />

school to students and families and taking Christ<br />

to them where they are. <br />

The Cassar family have three generations of active catechists.<br />

From left to right: Nicholas Velasco, Katherine Velasco,<br />

Connie and Sam Cassar and Stephanie Zammit.<br />

Image: Supplied.<br />

Cecilia Zammit is the Director of Confraternity<br />

of Christian Doctrine (CCD) in the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta. CCD welcomes new volunteers<br />

to this ministry. Please contact your parish<br />

office or Maree Collis on (02) 8838 3486 or<br />

Maree.collis@parracatholic.org.<br />



How good are grandparents?<br />

Do they sometimes give you<br />

presents or treats?<br />

Maybe they look after you too?<br />

The grandparents of Jesus were Mary’s parents,<br />

St Joachim and St Anne. In July we celebrate the<br />

Day for Grandparents and the Elderly and remember<br />

how much our grandparents and older people can<br />

teach us. St Joachim and St Anne taught Mary her<br />

prayers and how to love God so she was ready<br />

when God asked her to become Jesus’ mother.<br />

As you colour this in, think about what your<br />

grandparents do for you, and maybe give this<br />

to them for World Day of Grandparents and the<br />

Elderly on 25 July!<br />

Saint Joachim, Saint Anne and Saint Mary. © The<strong>Catholic</strong>Kid.com<br />


Read it<br />

A Doctor in Africa<br />

Listen, Watch,<br />

Read, Think<br />

Music, movies, books<br />

and podcasts for the<br />

winter months.<br />

During a children’s talk at<br />

church when Dr Andrew<br />

Browning was just six, he<br />

was inspired to become<br />

a missionary doctor after<br />

a missionary nurse’s<br />

presentation about her<br />

experiences helping the<br />

people of Tanzania.<br />

‘Doctor Andrew,’ as he<br />

is known to his patients in Africa, followed God’s<br />

prompting and lived and worked, and continues to<br />

work, in some of the most impoverished nations in<br />

the world. He has committed his life to operating on<br />

women suffering from obstetric fistula which leaves<br />

them with internal holes after obstructed childbirth.<br />

So far, he has treated more than 7000 women. In the<br />

book, Andrew describes Dr Maura Lynch, an Irish nun,<br />

whom he worked with in Uganda, as a ‘true saint’ after<br />

she worked in Africa for 50 years releasing thousands<br />

of women from the burden and isolation of terrible<br />

fistulas. Both Andrew and Maura were prompted to<br />

act through the example of Jesus Christ.<br />

A Doctor in Africa<br />

By Dr Andrew Browning<br />

Published by Macmillan, Australia.<br />

Geoffry Gurrumul Yunupingu.<br />

Image: Courtesy of Madman Entertainment.

Listen in<br />

AMDG: A Jesuit Podcast<br />

Jesuits and friends come together to look at the<br />

world through Ignatian eyes, always striving to live<br />

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam - For the Greater Glory<br />

of God. Hosted by Mike Jordan Laskey and guest<br />

host Eric Clayton. A production of the Jesuit<br />

Conference of Canada and the United States.<br />

Available on soundcloud.<br />

Good Shepherd Youth Choir from the Good Shepherd<br />

Parish, Plumpton. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Tune it<br />

Check out these songs as recommended by the<br />

Good Shepherd Youth Choir who hail from the Good<br />

Shepherd Parish, Plumpton.<br />

- Refiner’s Fire by Brian Doerksen<br />

- Send Down the Fire by Marty Haugen<br />

- Here I am to Worship by Hillsong Worship<br />

- What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship<br />

- He is Exalted by Twila Paris<br />

- Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith<br />

Watch it<br />

Gurrumul<br />

Here’s a movie particularly relevant for NAIDOC Week.<br />

Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad,<br />

Indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was<br />

one of the most important and acclaimed voices to<br />

ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found<br />

purpose and meaning through songs and music<br />

inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island<br />

in far North East Arnhem Land. Living a traditional<br />

Yolngu life, his breakthrough album Gurrumul brought<br />

him to a crossroads as audiences and artists around<br />

the world began to embrace his music.<br />

Gurrumul is a portrait of an artist on the brink of global<br />

reverence, and the struggles he and those closest to<br />

him faced in balancing that which mattered most to<br />

him and keeping the show on the road.<br />

Rated PG (Infrequent mild coarse language)<br />

Gurramul is available to rent or buy at Apple TV,<br />

Google Play or Ritz at Home.<br />

Australian Women Preach<br />

An initiative of Women and the Australian Church<br />

(WATAC) and The Grail in Australia, the Australian<br />

Women Preach podcast highlights and share the<br />

voices of women breaking open the Word of God<br />

in ways that are meaningful to people today.<br />

Episodes are released weekly and will run until<br />

the first session of the Plenary Council in October.<br />

Available on soundcloud.<br />

In My Country<br />

During Refugee Week, here’s a way to find out<br />

more about those who come to Australia seeking<br />

protection. We hear a lot about refugees and asylum<br />

seekers, but not often do we hear from the people<br />

themselves. In My County shares the stories of<br />

people who came to Australia as refugees or asylum<br />

seekers. Stories of identity, religion, sexuality, the<br />

arts, parenting, culture, meaning, purpose, and the<br />

many places we call home.<br />

Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.<br />

Word Up<br />

During NAIDOC Week, see if you can pick up a<br />

word or two of one of our Indigenous Australian<br />

languages. Word Up showcases the diversity of<br />

languages of Indigenous Australia – one word at a<br />

time. In bite-sized episodes, guests tell stories of<br />

their language and the words that mean something<br />

to them. This podcast has a sister program for<br />

children called Little Yarns on ABC Listen Kids.<br />

Available on the ABC Listen App and Apple<br />

Podcasts.<br />

At The Well<br />

The At The Well podcast is back for <strong>2021</strong>. This year,<br />

Qwayne and Joy from the Diocese of Parramatta<br />

are diving deep into topics on the minds and hearts<br />

of young women in our local Church. Join the<br />

conversation, every month, as they invite a new<br />

guest every episode.<br />

Available at thewell.org.au and on soundcloud.<br />


Directory of services<br />

Chancery Office<br />

www.parracatholic.org<br />

(02) 8838 3400<br />

diocese@parracatholic.org<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

(02) 8838 3400<br />

bishop@parracatholic.org<br />

Houses to Homes<br />

(02) 8843 2500 or visit ccss.org.au<br />

A service for pregnant girls or parenting young women,<br />

16-25 years old, homeless or at risk of homelessness in<br />

the Blacktown LGA. Accommodation and parenting skills,<br />

with transition to education and long term housing.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education<br />

Diocese of Parramatta<br />

(02) 9840 5600<br />

communityliaison@parra.catholic.edu.au<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Services Limited<br />

(02) 9407 7044<br />

enquiries@cdpsl.org.au<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care Western Sydney<br />

and the Blue Mountains<br />

(02) 8843 2500<br />

enquiries@ccss.org.au<br />

Institute for Mission<br />

(02) 9296 6369<br />

connect@ifm.org.au<br />

Diocesan Ministries<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Youth Parramatta<br />

Life, Marriage & Family Office<br />

Office for Worship<br />

Pastoral Planning Office<br />

Peace, Justice and Ecology Office<br />

(02) 8838 3460<br />

Confraternity of Christian Doctrine<br />

(02) 8838 3486<br />

ccd@parracatholic.org<br />

Tribunal Office<br />

(02) 8838 3480<br />

tribunal@parracatholic.org<br />

Vocations<br />

(02) 8838 3460<br />

vocations@parracatholic.org<br />

Parramatta <strong>Catholic</strong> Foundation<br />

(02) 8838 3482<br />

yourfoundation@parracatholic.org<br />

Diocesan Development Fund<br />

(02) 8839 4500<br />

enquiries@parraddf.org.au<br />

Holy Spirit Seminary<br />

(02) 9296 6300<br />

Office for Safeguarding<br />

(02) 8838 3419<br />

safeguarding@parracatholic.org<br />

Disability NDIS<br />

Mamre Garden Services<br />

Blacktown Family<br />

Support<br />

Financial Counselling<br />

Problem Gambling<br />

Project Elizabeth<br />

Blacktown Neighbour Aid<br />

For Blacktown LGA<br />

Community Visitors<br />

Scheme<br />

Family & Relationship<br />

Services (FARS)<br />

Aboriginal <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Service Emerton<br />

Springwood<br />

Drop-in Centre<br />

Baulkham Hills Family<br />

Day Care Centre<br />

A service with people with a disability, it is part of the<br />

Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care provides Plan Management and Home<br />

Support.<br />

Offers employment for people with a disability<br />

by providing garden services in the community,<br />

to individual homes, schools, parishes.<br />

New gardening clients welcome.<br />

A free service for families with children and young people<br />

0-17, who are experiencing stress and/or relationship<br />

difficulties.<br />

Includes Intensive Family Preservation.<br />

A free service offering a range of supports to help clients<br />

manage finances.<br />

A free service offers assistance to individuals and families<br />

affected by problem gambling.<br />

Counselling for people experiencing parenting issues<br />

with children up to two years of age, also covers still<br />

births, miscarriages, unexpected pregnancies.<br />

A program of social inclusion for seniors.<br />

Provides accompaniment for social activities,<br />

shopping, transport to medical appointments.<br />

New volunteers welcome.<br />

Visit socially isolated residents in aged care facilities<br />

across the diocese. New volunteers welcome.<br />

Counselling for adults, couples, families, children.<br />

Family Law Court referrals.<br />

Grief and Loss.<br />

Drop-In centre for local community.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care services provided for individuals and groups.<br />

Drop-In centre for local community.<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>Care services provided for individuals and groups.<br />

Accredited childcare in Hills area.<br />

Contractors offer care in own home.<br />


Latest appointments<br />

Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of<br />

Parramatta, has confirmed these appointments<br />

in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Rev Joseph (Xua) Nguyen<br />

Chaplain to the Vietnamese Community<br />

from 1 March <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Dr Sebastian Salaske-Lentern<br />

Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator<br />

from 20 April <strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Voice of the people<br />

“<br />

What does an authentic friendship look like to you?<br />

“Like Christ’s to the Church, true friendship is<br />

grounded on sacrificial and self-giving love. It is a<br />

complete dedication of oneself to another person<br />

who desires and does nothing but the best for them.<br />

It is steadfast and consistent in love and fidelity;<br />

it is not afraid to express the truth when appropriate,<br />

but still being considerate and understanding of the<br />

other’s situation.”<br />

Jack Elkazzi<br />

Seventh-year seminarian at the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta’s Holy<br />

Spirit Seminary, Harris Park.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

”<br />

“An authentic friendship is one where we can<br />

come together and support any specific event,<br />

any person, within our local community. They’re the<br />

real people that you know are going to be there for<br />

you when you fall.”<br />

Aunty Pat Field<br />

Aboriginal Elder.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

“Friendship is important because when you have<br />

friends, you’re able to trust them, they support you<br />

and they are always there for you.”<br />

Navleen Amadala<br />

Year 6 student at St Oliver’s<br />

Primary School, Harris Park.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

“When I think about the authentic friendships<br />

that I have, I really think about people that I trust,<br />

that I want to spend time with, and someone<br />

that challenges me to maybe think about things<br />

differently. I think that’s really important in authentic<br />

friendships, to think about things and talk about<br />

things and even be challenged and have a safe<br />

space to do that.”<br />

Jaden Ellis<br />

Religious Education teacher at<br />

St Columba’s <strong>Catholic</strong> College,<br />

Springwood.<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


Grow your money in the Diocesan<br />

Development Fund and invest in our<br />

Church and its people<br />

The idea behind any investment is to put your money to work. That’s all very good, but have you ever<br />

thought about what it could do in its spare time?<br />

At the Diocesan Development Fund (DDF), we have.<br />

When you invest with us, you have a chance to give a little back to the pastoral work of the Church.<br />

Whilst your money is earning a financial return very close to the market rate, a small fraction of your<br />

return helps the Bishop to run programs in parishes and throughout the Diocese.<br />

Like any managed fund, the DDF is able to increase earnings by pooling the resources of its investors.<br />

But there is one important difference; the DDF directs surplus earnings to the Bishop of Parramatta<br />

to be used for the works of the Diocese, such as counselling programs, adult education, youth<br />

development, pastoral or liturgical activities.<br />

To find out more contact our friendly staff on (02) 8839 4500<br />

or visit our website at www.parracatholic.org.au/ddf.<br />

The DDF’s services are only available to <strong>Catholic</strong> organisations. Individual investors wishing to<br />

support the works of the Church can find out more at cdfcommunityfund.org.au<br />

Disclosure Statement<br />

The Diocesan Development Fund <strong>Catholic</strong> Diocese of Parramatta (DDF) (the Fund) is required by law to make the following disclosure. The Fund is not prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential<br />

Regulation Authority nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. An investor in the Fund will not receive the benefit of the financial claims scheme or the<br />

depositor protection provisions in the Banking Act 1959(Cth). Investments in the Fund are intended to be a means for investors to support the charitable, religious and educational works of the <strong>Catholic</strong> Diocese<br />

of Parramatta and for whom the consideration of profit are not of primary relevance in the investment decision. The investments that the Fund offers are not subject to the usual protections for investors under<br />

the Corporations Act (Cth) or regulation by Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Investors may be unable to get some or all of their money back when the investor expects or at all and any<br />

investment of the Fund are not comparable to investments with banks, finance companies or fund managers. The Fund’s identification statement may be viewed at https://parracatholic.org or by contacting the<br />

Fund. The Fund does not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence.

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