Catholic Outlook Magazine Ordinary Time Spring Edition 2022

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

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

Parramatta heads to World Youth Day 2023 I Season of Creation in the Diocese<br />

Meet Fr Vincy of The Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton I Deep listening with Dadirri<br />

Our November traditions I Inner pilgrimages<br />

Season of Creation | <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

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

Parramatta heads to World Youth Day 2023 I Season of Creation in the Diocese<br />

Meet Fr Vincy of The Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton I Deep listening with Dadirri<br />

Our November traditions I Inner pilgrimages<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 Communication:<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 />

Very Rev Peter G. Williams AM<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<br />

of the publisher. 8,500 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>2022</strong><br />

Jenny Kuchta and Elyse Provest worked with Aboriginal students at<br />

Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary Greystanes to create this Rainbow<br />

Lorikeet artwork. Many local schools are adopting totems in the<br />

lead-up to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander <strong>Catholic</strong> Education<br />

NSW State Conference in Leura in October <strong>2022</strong>. This event will be<br />

proudly hosted by <strong>Catholic</strong> Schools NSW and <strong>Catholic</strong> Education<br />

Diocese of Parramatta.<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 />

Season of Creation | <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

Cover Image: Sunset on the road to Santiago de Navarra,<br />

Spain. The Camino de Santiago is one of the world’s<br />

greatest pilgrimages. Image: Shutterstock.

From Bishop Vincent<br />

Dear Sisters and Brothers,<br />

Only the Kingdom therefore<br />

is absolute and it makes<br />

everything else relative.<br />

As we enter into <strong>Spring</strong> and see God’s creation<br />

bursting forth into new life, let’s remind ourselves that<br />

the Kingdom of God is shining forth all around us!<br />

We are all pilgrims of faith, on a journey to spread the<br />

Good News that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified but<br />

is now risen from the dead.<br />

Sometimes, however, we are blinded from living<br />

our joyous faith and noticing God’s Kingdom<br />

breaking through.<br />

We are like the masses in Jesus’ day, who were<br />

yearning for God to send a messiah to rescue<br />

them but were looking in all the wrong places.<br />

Yes, there are many things in our chaotic<br />

contemporary world that can blind and depress<br />

us and threaten our hope. We can be tempted to<br />

despair at so much injustice, rampant greed, the<br />

destruction of our environment and especially<br />

the horror of war and the suffering of innocents in<br />

places like Ukraine.<br />

But let’s never forget that Jesus proclaimed the<br />

Kingdom and insisted that God’s reign could begin in<br />

people’s lives any time they are ready to awaken to<br />

this presence.<br />

Jesus still speaks to us today:<br />

St. Pope Paul VI<br />

Do not look for God to<br />

appear in the desert or on a<br />

mountaintop, because the<br />

Kingdom is not about location.<br />

Instead, the Kingdom of God<br />

is within you.<br />

If, however, we can resist the temptation to despair<br />

and overcome the delusion that we can save<br />

ourselves, we can discover this divine presence.<br />

As the Anglican biblical scholar N. T. Wright puts<br />

it: “...we need to discover that when God wants to<br />

take charge of the world or the Church, he does<br />

not send in the tanks. Instead, he sends in the<br />

poor and the meek.”<br />

That is what Pope Francis has also been tirelessly<br />

saying for the last ten years. Our salvation is not<br />

achieved by ‘circling the wagons’ and seeking refuge<br />

in some supposed ‘Golden Age’ of the Church.<br />

Our recent Plenary Council was a moment of hope<br />

and new life for many of us Australian <strong>Catholic</strong>s.<br />

Why? Because it rightly discerned that we Australian<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>s need to march on in our journey of<br />

synodality, to make the Kingdom a reality in the<br />

Australia of today.<br />

We, the People of God in the Diocese of Parramatta,<br />

are sent on mission as ‘kingdom people’ to the<br />

‘peripheries’. As a pilgrim people, the poor and meek<br />

are our salvation and our guides, the 'anawim' of<br />

God who live their witness in the world and in history.<br />

With them, we go on a journey to form a community<br />

of ‘kinship’ for God longs for us to encounter him at<br />

the margins.<br />

This season of <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2022</strong>, we are called then to<br />

open our eyes to see the Kingdom of God breaking<br />

through all around us: “for the vision still has time,<br />

presses on to fulfillment, and it will not<br />

disappoint; and if it delays, wait for it”<br />

(cf. Habakkuk 2:3).<br />

Let's continue our pilgrimage of<br />

hope. For: Only the kingdom<br />

... is absolute! <br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

Bishop of Parramatta<br />

This was not a message most people of Jesus’ time<br />

wanted to hear. I suspect it is not something we want<br />

to accept deep down either.<br />

We can be tempted to want a Kingdom even a<br />

Church where we are in ‘control’.<br />




Enrolling now<br />

for 2023<br />

Belong.<br />


Visit www.parra.catholic.edu.au today to find your local <strong>Catholic</strong> school and join one of our<br />

caring, faith-filled communities.

44<br />

22<br />

14<br />

9<br />

On the Inside<br />

Season of Creation | <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2022</strong><br />

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

<strong>Outlook</strong> stories and news from<br />

our Diocese - follow the Diocese<br />

of Parramatta Facebook page<br />

facebook.com/parracatholic.<br />

Subscribe to <strong>Catholic</strong> <strong>Outlook</strong><br />

online at catholicoutlook.org<br />

to get <strong>Catholic</strong> news, opinions<br />

and worship resources delivered<br />

straight to your inbox totally free<br />

of charge every week.<br />

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

08 Short & Sweet<br />

09 Dadirri<br />

10 <strong>Spring</strong> awakens our care<br />

for refugees and our<br />

common home<br />

12 Sustainable gardening<br />

harvests a strong community<br />

14 Diocese of Parramatta<br />

announces pilgrimage to<br />

World Youth Day 2023<br />

16 The impact of saying ‘yes’ to<br />

God through World Youth Day<br />

18 Being a World Youth Day<br />

witness eleven years on<br />

20 A renewed era of pilgrimage<br />

21 Saints to inspire young people<br />

on their WYD pilgrimage<br />

22 Nurturing a child’s<br />

cultural heritage<br />

24 A servant leader<br />

26 Speak up, speak out<br />

and speak on<br />

28 A reflection on the<br />

Plenary Council<br />

32 Looking Deeper<br />

34 The journey within<br />

36 Journey to Emmaus<br />

38 Living in the monastery<br />

of the heart<br />

40 The Pilgrim Church<br />

42 Our traditions for those<br />

who have died<br />

44 Fr Vincy D’Costa OFM Cap,<br />

Parish Priest The Good<br />

Shepherd, Plumpton<br />

46 Parish Profile: The Good<br />

Shepherd Parish, Plumpton<br />

48 Quest to know sets<br />

a life in motion<br />

50 Let us care for those who<br />

have cared for us through<br />

their lifetime of service<br />

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

54 Kid's Corner<br />

56 Directory of services<br />

57 Latest appointments<br />

57 Diocesan Award<br />

Recipients <strong>2022</strong>

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

A time for journeying<br />

With the announcement of the Diocese of Parramatta’s World Youth Day 2023 pilgrimage, we’ve asked pilgrims<br />

young and old what being on pilgrimage is like. Check out the testimonials throughout this edition of <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

<strong>Outlook</strong> on how you can grow through pilgrimage, no matter your life stage. You don’t even need to leave home.<br />

Support our<br />

HSC students<br />

Our HSC students are soon<br />

to sit their final exams. Parish<br />

communities in the Diocese will be<br />

holding Masses to pray for our local<br />

students and show them support<br />

and encouragement.<br />

Find the Mass for students in your<br />

parish at bit.ly/HSCMass22<br />

Year 12 Students from Emmaus <strong>Catholic</strong> College,<br />

Kemps Creek with Bishop Vincent in June <strong>2022</strong><br />

Sustainability tips from Ambrose Early Learning<br />

The start of our <strong>Spring</strong> in September is also the Season of Creation.<br />

Throughout the month, we are encouraged to take action and care<br />

for our common home. The children of Ambrose Early Learning in the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta are learning how to reduce their impact on the<br />

environment.<br />

Here are their top tips:<br />

Children at Mary Queen of the Parish<br />

Ambrose Early Learning learn about<br />

recycling. Image: Ambrose Early Learning.<br />

• Get a worm farm and feed your worms food scraps.<br />

The ‘worm juice’ is great fertiliser.<br />

• Recycle water through the use of rain tanks.<br />

• Grow things in the garden rather than buy them,<br />

especially your own food.<br />

• Recycle plastic soft drink and milk bottle lids.<br />

The ‘Lids for Kids’ project collects plastic bottle lids<br />

to be recycled to help make mobility aids for children.<br />

Sign up as an<br />

Earthcare Family<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare has a program<br />

to help your family live more<br />

sustainably. There's a program for<br />

parishes and schools too. Find out<br />

more on page 10.<br />

Signup at<br />

catholicearthcare.org.au<br />

Earthcare<br />

Family Game<br />

Combine learning about<br />

ecological care with fun and<br />

play the <strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare<br />

Game. Image: Supplied.<br />

You can purchase the<br />

Earthcare game through<br />

earthcaregame.org<br />


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

Soul Cakes<br />

Image: Cath Family website<br />

Baking for All Souls<br />

Following All Saints Day on 1 November, we<br />

commemorate All Souls Day on the 2nd, when we<br />

pray for those who have died. It is a centuries-old<br />

tradition, originally accompanied, in England and<br />

Ireland, by the baking and distribution of ‘soul cakes’<br />

for the poor. Try one of the recipes and talk with your<br />

families about the tradition of All Souls Day, and<br />

loved ones who have died.<br />

Check out this recipe on the Cath Family website<br />

at bit.ly/allsoulscake<br />

Season of Creation<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> camping<br />

Take time out from your busy lifestyle for<br />

a few days to camp in nature with friends,<br />

family and other members of the Christian<br />

community to celebrate the Season of<br />

Creation. To be held at Wooglemai <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Bush Retreat Centre, Oakdale from<br />

30 September to 2 October.<br />

Details seasonofcreationcamping.org<br />

Speaking out against<br />

violence and abuse<br />

The Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> Church launched its social<br />

justice statement for <strong>2022</strong>/23 in August. The<br />

statement, Respect: Confronting Violence and<br />

Abuse looks at family and domestic violence and<br />

explains that using religious teachings to excuse<br />

violence or exert control over others is wrong. The<br />

Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> bishops call for all people to do<br />

their part, so all people can live in safety and peace.<br />

Social Justice Statement Image: The Office for Social Justice,<br />

Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> Bishops Conference<br />

Download the statement at bit.ly/SJS22-23<br />

Supporting our retired clergy<br />

Our clergy accompany us during some of the most important times of our lives. Having given a life of service<br />

to others, when it comes to retirement or illness, sometimes they need our help.<br />

You can contribute to the Bishop's Father's Day Appeal at catholicoutlook.info/csfFathersday<br />


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

Active4Vocations<br />

Did you see our team with Bishop Vincent, priests,<br />

seminarians and parishioners who ran the City2Surf in<br />

August this year? They hope you'll join them next year<br />

to help promote vocations.<br />

You can still donate to their campaign raising<br />

funds for Holy Spirit Seminary, Harris Park at<br />

catholicoutlook.info/City2SurfA4V<br />

What’s On in the Diocese?<br />


Season of Creation. Find resources at<br />

parracatholic.org/seasonofcreation<br />

25 SEPTEMBER<br />

World Day for Migrants and Refugees.<br />

25 SEPTEMBER<br />

Diocesan Journey... Walking with Refugees<br />

event celebrating the gifts and contributions of<br />

refugees in our community. Find out more at<br />

parracatholic.org/socialjustice<br />

8-9 OCTOBER<br />

Parish HSC Masses. Our parishes invite you to<br />

Mass to support our students. Find a Mass at<br />

bit.ly/HSCMass22<br />

6 AND 13 OCTOBER<br />

Sacraments, Blacktown. A short course on<br />

the Sacraments for your parish community.<br />

Details at MET@parracatholic.org<br />

13 TO 15 OCTOBER<br />

National Deacons’ Conference, Baulkham<br />

Hills. Details at catholicoutlook.info/<br />

deaconsconference22<br />

Seminarian Tom Green (right), Fr Pawel Barszczewski OP<br />

(centre) and Head of Clergy Wellbeing in the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta, Mark Buhagier (left) run in the Active4Vocations<br />

campaign in the City2Surf <strong>2022</strong>. Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Talking about the Church<br />

The National Deacons’ Conference<br />

is being hosted by the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta 13 to 15 October. All<br />

interested parishioners are invited<br />

to attend and hear the lineup of<br />

great speakers.<br />

Find out more at<br />

catholicoutlook.info/deaconsconference22<br />

20 OCTOBER<br />

LIFTED Live in the Forecourt. Join the largest<br />

outdoor youth festival in the Diocese at St<br />

Patrick’s Cathedral Precinct Parramatta 7-10pm.<br />

Register at parracatholic.org/liftedlive<br />

26 OCTOBER<br />

The FaithFeed for those aged in their 20s to 40s.<br />

Details at MET@parracatholic.org<br />

9 NOVEMBER<br />

Peace, Justice and Ecology Sharing Online. A<br />

sharing opportunity for those interested in Social<br />

Justice, Care for Creation or Global Peace.<br />

Email MET@parracatholic.org for a Zoom link.<br />

20 NOVEMBER<br />

World Youth Day Parramatta. Each year Pope<br />

Francis celebrates young people around<br />

the world! Join us for an outdoor mass and<br />

celebration. 6pm St John XXIII <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

College, Stanhope Gardens<br />

25 NOVEMBER<br />

Mass for Deceased Clergy in the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta. Mass will be followed by prayers at<br />

the graves of deceased clergy buried in Castle<br />

Hill Cemetery. 10.30am St Bernadette’s Parish,<br />

Castle Hill.<br />

Members of the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta and their wives at their formation weekend in 2021<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

06<br />


• Scripture and Socials for young adults<br />

20’s-40’s online courses.<br />

• Spirituality for beginners<br />

• Interpersonal Skilling for Ministry<br />

Details at pfparra.org.au or<br />


Image: Shutterstock<br />

World Day of Migrants and Refugees<br />

On 25 September, the <strong>Catholic</strong> Church around the world celebrates the World Day of Migrants and<br />

Refugees. On this day, we express concern for vulnerable people on the move, pray for them as they face<br />

many challenges, and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers. In <strong>2022</strong>, Pope<br />

Francis invites us all to join in “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees”. One practical step is to hold<br />

a food drive for the local refugees in our midst.<br />

Find out more at parracatholic.org/diocesanfooddrive<br />



You can help deliver<br />

urgent humanitarian aid to<br />

communities facing hunger<br />

www.caritas.org.au | 1800 024 413

Short & Sweet<br />

I thank God that the Plenary Council had the humility<br />

and courage to not go home with a false unity but<br />

a deep and new awareness of God’s unfolding<br />

revelation and our evolving maturity. At least<br />

that is the indication of the majority. The synodal<br />

journey can be messy, painful and uncertain. But<br />

it can lead to renewed and<br />

deepened commitment and even<br />

transformation.<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

on the Plenary Council 17 July <strong>2022</strong><br />

I believe some people – lots of people – pray to the<br />

witness of their lives through the work they do, the<br />

friendships they have, the love<br />

they offer people and receive from<br />

people. Since when are words the<br />

only acceptable form of prayer?<br />

Dorothy Day Image: Wikimedia Commons<br />

Noel Pearson also said Australians have an epic story.<br />

It’s one of the greatest epic stories of this planet.<br />

We will recognise the scale of our story when we<br />

recognise each other.<br />

Image: Wikimedia Commons<br />

Federal Opposition Leader Peter<br />

Dutton at the opening of the<br />

Australian Pariament 26 July <strong>2022</strong><br />

The use of digital media, especially social media,<br />

has raised a number of serious ethical issues that<br />

call for wise and discerning judgment on the part<br />

of communicators, and all those concerned with<br />

authenticity and the quality of<br />

human relationships.<br />

His Holiness Pope Francis<br />

to the lay communication network<br />

SIGNIS August <strong>2022</strong> Image: Shutterstock.<br />

The teaching of Christ urges us to promote<br />

relationships marked by respect and freedom<br />

rather than coercion and control. The message of<br />

the Gospel is not a message of domination of one<br />

person over another but a message of mutual<br />

esteem and kindness.<br />

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB<br />

launching the Australian <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Bishops’ Social Justice Statement<br />

for <strong>2022</strong>/23 Respect: Confronting<br />

Violence and Abuse Image: ACBC.<br />

The profit-driven and self-oriented model that<br />

undergirds our consumerist, economic system is<br />

no longer viable going forward. We will perish under<br />

these conditions unless we return to the roots of<br />

nature and rewire ourselves to be part of nature.<br />

For we humans belong to nature;<br />

nature does not belong to us.<br />

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv<br />

Tri Diocesan Social Justice evening,<br />

July <strong>2022</strong><br />

Pope’s Prayer Intentions<br />

This <strong>Spring</strong>, Pope Francis asks us to pray<br />

together as a worldwide community:<br />

SEPTEMBER | For the abolition of the death penalty<br />

We pray that the death penalty, which attacks the<br />

dignity of the human person, may be legally<br />

abolished in every country.<br />

OCTOBER | For a Church open to everyone<br />

We pray for the Church; ever faithful to, and<br />

courageous in preaching the Gospel, may the Church<br />

be a community of solidarity, fraternity and welcome,<br />

always living in an atmosphere of synodality.<br />

Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2016 in Poland<br />

Image: Shutterstock<br />

NOVEMBER | For children who suffer<br />

We pray for children who are suffering, especially<br />

those who are homeless, orphans, and victims of<br />

war; may they be guaranteed access to education<br />

and the opportunity to experience family affection.<br />


Image: Shutterstock<br />

Dadirri<br />

Our Aboriginal culture has taught us to be still and to<br />

wait. We do not try to hurry things up. We let them<br />

follow their natural course – like the seasons. We<br />

watch the moon in each of its phases. We wait for<br />

the rain to fill our rivers and water the thirsty earth…<br />

When twilight comes, we prepare for the night.<br />

At dawn we rise with the sun.<br />

We watch the bush foods and wait for them to ripen<br />

before we gather them. We wait for our young people<br />

as they grow, stage by stage, through their initiation<br />

ceremonies. When a relation dies, we wait a long<br />

time with the sorrow. We own our grief and allow<br />

it to heal slowly.<br />

We wait for the right time for our ceremonies and<br />

our meetings. The right people must be present.<br />

Everything must be done in the proper way. Careful<br />

preparations must be made. We don’t mind waiting,<br />

because we want things to be done with care.<br />

Sometimes many hours will be spent on painting the<br />

body before an important ceremony.<br />

We don’t like to hurry. There is nothing more<br />

important than what we are attending to. There is<br />

nothing more urgent that we must hurry away for.<br />

We wait on God, too. His time is the right time. We<br />

wait for Him to make His Word clear to us. We don’t<br />

worry. We know that in time and in the spirit of dadirri<br />

(that deep listening and quiet stillness).<br />

His way will be clear.<br />

We are River people. We cannot hurry the river. We<br />

have to move with its current and understand its ways.<br />

We hope that the people of Australia will wait. Not so<br />

much waiting for us – to catch up – but waiting with<br />

us, as we find our pace in this world.<br />

There is much pain and struggle as we wait.<br />

The Holy Father understood this patient struggle<br />

when he said to us:<br />

“If you stay closely united, you are like a tree,<br />

standing in the middle of a bushfire sweeping<br />

through the timber. The leaves are scorched and<br />

the tough bark is scarred and burnt; but inside the<br />

tree the sap is still flowing, and under the ground<br />

the roots are still strong. Like that tree, you have<br />

endured the flames, and you still have the power<br />

to be reborn”.<br />

An excerpt from Dadirri by Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr<br />

To read the full reflection go to<br />

miriamrosefoundation.org.au/dadirri/<br />

Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr,<br />

(left) 2021 Senior<br />

Australian of the Year,<br />

will visit the Diocese<br />

of Parramatta for the<br />

Aboriginal and Torres<br />

Strait Islander <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Education Conference in<br />

Leura in October <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Image: Salty Dingo<br />


<strong>Spring</strong> awakens<br />

our care for<br />

refugees and our<br />

common home<br />



Image: Shutterstock<br />

September is a special time for social and<br />

environmental justice in the <strong>Catholic</strong> Church.<br />

Sebastian and James from the Mission<br />

Enhancement Team (MET) explain why.<br />

Each year, the Season of Creation and the World<br />

Day of Migrants and Refugees fall in the month of<br />

September. It’s a time when <strong>Catholic</strong>s around the<br />

world are particularly reminded to care more deeply<br />

for God’s creation and for people seeking refuge in<br />

their community.<br />

Where to start<br />

Sometimes, knowing how to start can be confusing<br />

or overwhelming. To help you, <strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare, the<br />

ecological advisory agency for the <strong>Catholic</strong> Church in<br />

Australia, has a special program for families, parishes<br />

and schools to take them through the steps, from<br />

understanding our connection to nature, to taking<br />

stock and taking action.<br />

Take action in the Season of Creation<br />

Coinciding with our Australian <strong>Spring</strong>, the Season<br />

of Creation is a worldwide ecumenical initiative from<br />

1 September to 4 October. Concluding on the Feast<br />

of St Francis of Assisi, considered the patron saint<br />

of our natural environment, it is a time when Pope<br />

Francis and the Australian Bishops encourage all<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong>s to prayer and action in caring for God’s<br />

creation, our common home.<br />

In April this year, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv,<br />

Bishop of Parramatta launched our Diocesan<br />

Laudato Si’ Action Campaign, aimed at achieving<br />

the seven Laudato Si’ Goals set by Pope Francis.<br />

All <strong>Catholic</strong> schools, parishes, families, and<br />

organisations in the Diocese of Parramatta are<br />

invited to join us on the journey.<br />

Watch the video at parracatholic.org/laudatosi<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

Parishes will learn how to audit where your parish<br />

is at regarding sustainability, and help you plan<br />

for the future, including how to build and motivate<br />

your community.<br />

Already four parishes have signed up from the Diocese<br />

of Parramatta including The Good Shepherd at<br />

Plumpton, and St Madeleine Sophie Barat at Kenthurst.<br />

Find out more about the Diocesan Laudato Si’<br />

action campaign and the Laudato Si’ Goals at<br />

parracatholic.org/laudatosi<br />

The Good Shepherd Parish responds to<br />

Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor<br />

The Good Shepherd Parish in Plumpton has<br />

envisaged and actioned their response to the<br />

Diocesan Laudato Si’ Action Campaign. In January<br />

<strong>2022</strong>, the parish’s social justice group initiated a<br />

discernment process, resulting in the decision to<br />

join <strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare’s Parishes Program and to<br />

undertake an Earthcare audit.<br />


Parishioners from The Good Shepherd, Plumpton raised money for refugees at a special concert. Image: Supplied<br />

They have taken stock of the ways in which the<br />

parish is responding to “the cry of the earth and the<br />

cry of the poor.” Actions include using solar energy,<br />

regular food drives for the refugee organisation the<br />

House of Welcome, and holding a concert to raise<br />

funds for refugee families.<br />

Read more about the parish’s actions on page 46.<br />

The Laudato Si’ Goals<br />

Respond to the Cry of the Earth<br />

Response to the Cry of the Poor<br />

Ecological economics<br />

Adoption of sustainable lifestyles<br />

Ecological education<br />

Ecological spirituality<br />

Community resilience and<br />

empowerment<br />

Details at laudatosiactionplatform.org<br />

Find more opportunities to get involved<br />

with social and environmental justice at<br />

parracatholic.org/socialjustice and subscribe<br />

to the Peace, Justice, Ecology Newsletter at<br />

bit.ly/pjenews<br />

World Day of Migrants and<br />

Refugees 25 September<br />

Celebrate and support refugees in the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta<br />

The <strong>Catholic</strong> Church celebrates the World Day<br />

of Migrants and Refugees in <strong>2022</strong> on Sunday 25<br />

September. It is a time to pray and raise awareness<br />

of the challenges of vulnerable people on the move.<br />

In the Diocese of Parramatta, our network of refugee<br />

organisations and parishes come together in the<br />

Diocesan Journey... Walking With Refugees to<br />

support and keep the conversation going. <br />

You're invited...<br />

Celebrate the gifts refugees bring us all,<br />

at a special event<br />

25 September<br />

Details parracatholic.org/socialjustice<br />

As a former refugee myself, I<br />

understand the sufferings, destitution,<br />

and cry for prosperity of those who<br />

are seeking a place of safety where<br />

they can rebuild their lives. I want<br />

you to be hopeful and prayerful, for<br />

the Lord will provide. No condition is<br />

permanent, and change is possible.<br />

James Atanasious Lukere<br />

Sebastian Salaske-Lentern and James Atanasious Lukere are<br />

members of the Diocese of Parramatta’s Mission Enhancement<br />

Team (MET) focusing on Peace, Justice, Ecology.<br />


Margaret (left) and Hanna (right) in the garden<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Sustainable gardening harvests<br />

a strong community<br />


The Season of Creation coincides with our<br />

Australian <strong>Spring</strong> weather. In Blacktown, a<br />

group of gardeners are sustainably growing their<br />

favourite vegetables and following the call to<br />

care for each other and our common home.<br />

It’s Thursday morning and Margaret Bayoa has<br />

finished her night shift.<br />

After getting home at 7am, she gets her kids ready<br />

for school and drops them off.<br />

But instead of heading home to rest after work,<br />

she is pulling weeds and cultivating her garden bed<br />

alongside other Sudanese women in the community<br />

garden at the All Saints of Africa Centre, next to St<br />

Patrick’s Church in Blacktown.<br />

I ask her why she isn’t at home taking it easy. “My<br />

heart is here,” she replies with a beaming smile,<br />

looking over the beds of traditional African crops.<br />

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

Mountains Family Support Worker Rafa Godo<br />

explains that the All Saints of Africa Centre was<br />

established as a central hub for members of the<br />

African community to gather and to socialise.<br />

Originally established for young people, over time,<br />

local Sudanese women have become the main<br />

group of gardeners. They grow okra, black beans,<br />

white corn, sukuma and sugar cane – crops that<br />

are Sudanese staples and remind the gardeners<br />

of home.<br />

Although it is an overcast day when I visit the garden,<br />

it fails to dampen their spirits as the women chat<br />

as they pick from the existing plants and begin<br />

preparations for <strong>Spring</strong>.<br />

Each woman has her own garden bed, but if<br />

someone is not around, the other members of the<br />

community are allowed to harvest their crops.<br />

The food is also shared amongst the community<br />

members free of charge.<br />


“We often have a lot of people asking for the food<br />

from the garden,” one of the women explains.<br />

“My kids ask me when I am cooking whether the food<br />

is from the garden. When I say ‘yes’ they get excited.”<br />

The garden is a living example of sustainability. The<br />

women harvest their own seeds from the crops, and<br />

the only item they pay for is water. Any leftovers are<br />

frozen for use throughout the year.<br />

“It’s really encouraging that we are planting our own<br />

seeds, and it’s organic and healthy for us to eat,”<br />

Esther Kenyi says.<br />

As well as tending to the garden, the women are also<br />

nurturing their relationships with one another and<br />

with their community.<br />

“On Thursdays, we have playgroup and then<br />

afterwards, I go and do garden work,” Hanna Abadia<br />

says. “Working in the garden is exercise for me and it<br />

feels really good.”<br />

Helping out in the garden is beneficial for older<br />

members of the community too, says Hanna. “For<br />

some of them, it is the only way to get them out of<br />

the house, out exercising and keeping them busy<br />

during the day,” she says.<br />

The women feel that they are embracing Pope<br />

Francis’ call to care for creation and care for the<br />

earth through their traditional gardening practices<br />

and also by sharing the food with others.<br />

Sukuma with ugali and chicken. Image: Shutterstock<br />

A recipe for sukuma<br />

• Wash sukuma and cut finely<br />

• Chop onions and tomatoes<br />

• Cook onion in oil until it browns then<br />

add sukuma<br />

• Cook for five minutes<br />

• Add tomatoes<br />

• Flavour with salt, seasoning or finely<br />

cut onion leaves<br />

• Add a small amount of water to<br />

prevent it burning<br />

• Cook it on slow until you are happy<br />

with the taste<br />

• Serve with meat and ugali<br />

Growing their own food helps the members of the<br />

community save money. Their native vegetables are<br />

often hard to find in markets, and, as the women<br />

explain, don’t taste as good.<br />

As the garden remains a staple for the community,<br />

the gardeners hope to find a bigger plot of land<br />

around Western Sydney and expand their garden. <br />

Tips from the All Saints of Africa gardeners:<br />

• Keep older crops in for longer – it enriches the<br />

soil for new planting in the spring.<br />

• Use grass clippings, manure and homegrown<br />

compost, instead of fertiliser.<br />

Gardener Night Drania<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

• If you have leftovers after your harvest, freeze<br />

them for use throughout the year.<br />

• Sharing your harvest builds community!<br />


Diocese of Parramatta announces<br />

pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2023<br />


Young people across Western Sydney and the<br />

Blue Mountains are invited on a once-in-alifetime<br />

spiritual experience.<br />

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

Parramatta has launched the official Diocese of<br />

Parramatta pilgrimage to the 16th International World<br />

Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Portugal, in August 2023.<br />

The 22-day pilgrimage takes place from 21 July to<br />

11 August 2023. Across four countries. young people<br />

will walk in the footsteps of saints who changed the<br />

course of history. Starting in Paris, the young pilgrims<br />

will travel to Spain before the official WYD event<br />

in Lisbon, Portugal, and conclude with a retreat in<br />

Assisi, Italy.<br />

World Youth Day is a gathering of young people<br />

from all over the world with the Pope: a celebration<br />

of youth, an expression of the universal Church<br />

and an intense moment of evangelisation for the<br />

youth world.<br />

It was created in 1986 by Pope St John Paul<br />

II and is hosted in a different international city<br />

every few years. <br />

To find out more information and to register<br />

your interest in attending World Youth Day, visit<br />

www.parrawyd.org<br />

The image (on facing page) for the Diocese of Parramatta<br />

WYD 2023 pilgrimage depicts the Blessed Virgin running,<br />

indicating her haste and honouring the WYD 2023 theme<br />

“Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39) – the third<br />

chapter in Pope Francis’ Marian-based themes for<br />

World Youth Day.<br />

The elements of creation depicted remind us of St Francis<br />

of Assisi’s love and care of the natural world and the Lisbon<br />

lettering is reminiscent of local Portuguese art styles, with a<br />

yellow tram and flamenco guitar nods to the host city.<br />


The impact of saying ‘yes’ to God<br />

through World Youth Day<br />


We hear the stories of four of our young adult<br />

pilgrims who attended World Youth Day in<br />

Panama in 2019.<br />

In his invitation to young people across Western<br />

Sydney and the Blue Mountains to join him in<br />

journeying to World Youth Day, Bishop Vincent says<br />

for young people, the worldwide celebration of faith<br />

has a “profound impact on their relationship with<br />

Jesus, their prayer life, their lived mission and their<br />

relationship with others”.<br />

Qwayne Guevara, Manager – <strong>Catholic</strong> Youth<br />

Parramatta, explains that “past World Youth Day<br />

pilgrims have returned to their local communities<br />

taking up leadership and service opportunities<br />

in their schools, parishes, workplaces, pursuing<br />

further theological study and some discerning<br />

their vocation.”<br />

As the youth of Western Sydney and the Blue<br />

Mountains consider journeying with Christ on World<br />

Youth Day, we asked pilgrims from previous World<br />

Youth Day pilgrimages to reflect on what called<br />

them to this amazing mountain-top experience,<br />

and how they share the love of God with their<br />

local faith communities.<br />

Chantelle Ocsan, parishioner of<br />

Holy Family Parish, Emerton<br />

While I entered World Youth Day hoping to always be<br />

surrounded and be comfortable with people I already<br />

knew, throughout the pilgrimage, WYD taught me<br />

the beauty in virtuous friendships. WYD allowed me<br />

to create friendships with the other pilgrims knowing<br />

that we were all on the same faith journey but just at<br />

different points in our lives.<br />

On pilgrimage, I learnt how much I love serving<br />

the people around me, and it is through making<br />

sure I showed a Christ-like joy every day, even<br />

when I wasn’t feeling 100%. It was the ability to<br />

recognise that in any circumstance, God is trying<br />

to call out to me.<br />

World Youth Day is a continuous pilgrimage where<br />

every day, I learn how God is trying to call me to be<br />

His servant. My faith was strengthened throughout<br />

World Youth Day to emulate this unwavering yes<br />

Mama Mary gave to God; inspiring me to do<br />

what I can to make sure I answer His call in my<br />

day-to-day life.<br />

Qwayne Guevara (back far left), Kathleen (middle right) and<br />

Chantelle (front right) at WYD 2019 with other pilgrims from<br />

the Diocese of Parramatta. Image: Supplied<br />


Dale Ahern<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

Dale Ahern – Head of Learning,<br />

St Clare’s <strong>Catholic</strong> High School, Hassall Grove<br />

There are people that I would not have met without<br />

this experience who are people in my life I can count<br />

on for anything. I very much cherish the friends I<br />

have made along the way, some I know will be in<br />

my life forever.<br />

I remember in Panama being near the beach with<br />

two other groups and in that moment, we decided<br />

to share how we were feeling in that moment and<br />

prayed together. After we prayed, I remember feeling<br />

this calm come over us – I felt like Christ was with<br />

us. It felt as if we were all meant to be there in that<br />

moment, sharing and appreciating the world around us.<br />

As a teacher, I have had many opportunities to share<br />

my experiences and my own faith journey after WYD.<br />

Kathleen Hernadez<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

Kathleen Hernandez, parishioner of<br />

St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill<br />

During WYD week in Panama city, there was a<br />

‘Fiat Night’ which centred around the theme of<br />

WYD. There were talks and a time of Adoration of<br />

the Blessed Sacrament. When I looked at Jesus in<br />

the tiny host in the monstrance, I felt His gaze upon<br />

me. In my vulnerability, I knew deeply that God’s love<br />

was for me.<br />

In the procession of the Blessed Sacrament that<br />

followed, I heard deeply in my heart the words,<br />

“Come back to me, my love. Come back to me, my<br />

love. Come back to me, my love.” It felt as if Jesus<br />

and I were speaking the words to each other – heart<br />

to heart – and I was drawn into a deeper intimacy<br />

with Him.<br />

Abigail Diaz<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

I entered a new season of my life after World Youth<br />

Day. I gave the year to God, fell more deeply in love<br />

with Him, and felt called to step out to join a religious<br />

community. I discerned Religious Life for two blessed<br />

years and recently felt called to come back home.<br />

Abigail Diaz, parishioner of<br />

Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton<br />

No day was the same on pilgrimage – there was<br />

time for prayer and reflection, great friendships and<br />

fellowship being developed with each experience,<br />

lots of food, excitement, music, learning, moments<br />

of laughter, vulnerability, tears of sorrow and<br />

tears of joy.<br />

During the pilgrimage, I crossed paths with some<br />

fellow parishioners whom I only ever knew as a face<br />

in the pews prior to WYD. Our encounters during the<br />

pilgrimage soon lead the way for deeper friendships.<br />

These friends are a source of hope and continue to<br />

inspire me and my faith journey. <br />


Claire Brown (second from left)<br />

at the WYD lunch she attended<br />

with Pope Benedict XVI in 2011<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

Being a World Youth Day witness<br />

eleven years on<br />


A World Youth Day pilgrimage can bring<br />

experiences you never imagined, as Claire Brown<br />

found out.<br />

I experienced my first taste of what a pilgrimage<br />

would be like at World Youth Day Sydney, 2008.<br />

I, along with 350,000 pilgrims from here and<br />

around the world, attended the final Mass<br />

which Pope Benedict XVI celebrated. It was an<br />

unforgettable time.<br />

When the Pope announced that WYD 2011 would be<br />

in Madrid, Spain, I remember thinking very clearly,<br />

“I wonder if I’ll be there?” and praying about it there<br />

and then.<br />

Turns out God had some amazing things in store<br />

for me on that journey.<br />

Not only did I attend WYD in Madrid, but I also had<br />

the great privilege of being chosen, with eleven<br />

others, to have lunch with Pope Benedict!<br />

The Pope was a very kind, humble, gentle person<br />

who showed such care and concern for the youth of<br />

the church. Meeting him was incredible and certainly<br />

a highlight of my pilgrimage. Although, God’s hand in<br />

that circumstance has been even more incredible. He<br />

has used that experience for me to be able to bless<br />

and witness to many people over the years.<br />

Another highlight for me was experiencing over three<br />

million people gathering together to celebrate our<br />

faith. When my pilgrim group first arrived in Spain,<br />

we spent some time in a town called Cáceres. The<br />

parishioners there made us all feel so welcome. It felt<br />

like a home away from home. There were the older<br />

ladies preparing home-cooked meals, the parish<br />

dads being our tour guides, families inviting us into<br />


their homes and the local priests hanging out, playing<br />

games and praying with us.<br />

What really struck me was that even though our<br />

cultures were so different – a lot of us didn’t speak<br />

Spanish and most of them couldn’t speak English<br />

– but our faith and connection with God surpassed<br />

all of that. We are all the same in Christ. We share<br />

similar joys, struggles, heartaches, and triumphs.<br />

It was also a wonderful experience sharing the<br />

journey with my pilgrim group. It was great getting<br />

to know them, hearing their stories and sharing the<br />

same experiences together.<br />

Pilgrimages aren’t always easy. Sometimes we<br />

think that a pilgrimage will be a holy, adventurous<br />

time where nothing goes wrong and we become<br />

enlightened and grow deeper with God.<br />

Don’t get me wrong, that does happen. But there<br />

were a lot of times when it was hard and exhausting.<br />

We sometimes got on each other’s nerves, things<br />

didn’t always go to plan and there were sicknesses<br />

and injuries. We were reminded a lot that we were on<br />

pilgrimage, not a holiday, and to offer everything up<br />

as prayer.<br />

Of course, with those struggles also came many<br />

wonderful times. From the amazing moments<br />

when the Holy Spirit touched our hearts in so many<br />

different ways, to playing games, sharing meals and<br />

many discussions. We were all so blessed to share<br />

it together.<br />

Pilgrimages don’t stop affecting your life once you<br />

return home. I had many profound moments on the<br />

trip, but also so many when I got home. It took years<br />

to process and unpack the journey.<br />

Even though it’s been 11 years since Madrid, I’m still<br />

seeing the effect of it in my Faith and walk with God<br />

and my ministry with the youth and young adults of<br />

our parish and diocese.<br />

Also witnessing the effect it has had on the other<br />

pilgrims, many of whom have taken incredible steps<br />

in their various vocations.<br />

I encourage anyone who is discerning going on<br />

a pilgrimage to go for it! To be able to journey<br />

and experience God in new and deeper ways is<br />

something that you will never regret. <br />

Claire Brown is a parishioner and youth ministry leader at<br />

St Finbar’s Parish, Glenbrook.

A renewed era of pilgrimage<br />


Engraved in marble along the side of St Mary of<br />

the Cross MacKillop’s tomb at her shrine in North<br />

Sydney are her words “Remember we are but<br />

travelers here”.<br />

Sage words from a woman who made a pilgrim<br />

of herself while on earth, travelling the length and<br />

breadth of Australia to fulfil her mission of serving<br />

the poor and remote, often on horseback in the most<br />

challenging conditions.<br />

Pilgrimage has long been part of our spiritual heritage<br />

as the people of God. As the prophet Jeremiah (6:16)<br />

reminds us:<br />

Stand at the crossroads, and look,<br />

and ask for the ancient paths,<br />

where the good way lies;<br />

and walk in it,<br />

and find rest for your souls.<br />

In Australia, the profile of a typical pilgrim is<br />

dynamic, and varied. Many pilgrims are young like<br />

those who attend World Youth Days, and many<br />

are older who have the time and means to travel;<br />

some are workers, professionals, parents, and<br />

students seeking to walk a pathway that will lead to<br />

meaningful and spiritual encounters.<br />

Some are religious including priests and consecrated<br />

women and men. Others are not as engaged in<br />

the Church and come as seekers, open to all<br />

the experiences that pilgrimage provides. Many<br />

are looking for friendship and fellowship, and an<br />

enriching break from the everyday. In recent years<br />

there has been an increase in the number of pilgrims<br />

from Church agency sectors (particularly <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Education) for the purposes of faith formation and<br />

professional development.<br />

Whatever a typical pilgrim might look like, the<br />

wonderful thing about pilgrimage is, that it is a great<br />

leveller. We are all pilgrims on the journey and walk<br />

the sacred pathways together. <br />

Embarking on a pilgrimage to a holy place, for a<br />

sacred purpose, reminds us that we are but travellers<br />

in this life, and like every Christian pilgrim before us,<br />

are wanderers without permanency, destined for an<br />

eternal home.<br />

After an extraordinary two years, with international<br />

travel interrupted on a global scale as never before,<br />

the appetite for travel, and for travel with meaning<br />

and purpose, is bouncing back.<br />

Well-worn pilgrimage paths, such as the Camino<br />

in Spain, the via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, and the<br />

entrance to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, smooth with<br />

the footsteps of the faithful over hundreds of years,<br />

after a pandemic reprieve, are once again receiving<br />

pilgrims.<br />

Lesser-known pilgrimage paths in our own country,<br />

such as the footsteps of Mary MacKillop from<br />

Melbourne to Adelaide, or the outback trail to the<br />

Red Centre, are revealing themselves and being<br />

discovered by a new cohort of Aussie pilgrims eager<br />

to walk the pathways of the Great South Land of<br />

the Holy Spirit.<br />

Selina Hasham is the CEO of Harvest Journeys.<br />

Holy Land<br />

Pilgrimages<br />

11 Days / 10 Nights: Watch the<br />

Gospels come alive as we set out<br />

on this true pilgrimage of faith and<br />

retrace the progressive stages of<br />

the life of Jesus from his Nativity in<br />

Bethlehem to his Passion on Calvary.<br />

TOLL FREE: 1800 819 156<br />

www.harvestjourneys.com<br />

Footsteps of St<br />

Mary MacKillop<br />

Land only from $4790 Land only from $3990<br />

11 Days / 10 Nights:<br />

Set out together on a true Australian<br />

Pilgrimage through the life and times<br />

of Mary MacKillop, as we rekindle the<br />

story, landscapes and spirit of our<br />

nations’ first Saint.<br />


Saints to inspire<br />

young people on their<br />

WYD pilgrimage<br />

On their journey to World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon,<br />

Portugal, young people from across the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta will be walking in the footsteps of 13 Saints<br />

that changed the course of history.<br />

We ask these holy men and women to pray for our<br />

pilgrims, group leaders, chaplains, Bishop Vincent, and<br />

young people across the Diocese and around the world.<br />

Our Lady of Lourdes<br />

Feast Day:<br />

11 February<br />

“I do not promise<br />

you a happiness<br />

in this world, but<br />

in the next.”<br />

St Bernadette<br />

Feast Day:<br />

16 April<br />

“Enjoy God's amazing opportunities bestowed<br />

on us. Have faith in Him always.”<br />

St Dominic<br />

Feast Day:<br />

3 August<br />

“I am not capable<br />

of doing big things,<br />

but I want to do<br />

everything, even<br />

the smallest things,<br />

for the greater<br />

glory of God.”<br />

St Ignatius of Loyola<br />

Feast Day:<br />

31 July<br />

“Whatever you are<br />

doing, that which<br />

makes you feel the<br />

most alive... that is<br />

where God is.”<br />

St Thérèse of Lisieux<br />

Feast Day:<br />

1 October<br />

"Holiness consists<br />

simply in doing<br />

God's will, and being<br />

just what God<br />

wants us to be."<br />

St Clare of Assisi<br />

Feast Day:<br />

11 August<br />

“We become what<br />

we love and who we<br />

love shapes what<br />

we become.”<br />

Our Lady of Fatima<br />

Feast Day:<br />

13 May<br />

“My Immaculate<br />

Heart will be your<br />

refuge and the way<br />

that will lead you<br />

to God.”<br />

St Vincent de Paul<br />

Feast Day:<br />

27 September<br />

“Love the poor.<br />

Honour them,<br />

my children, as<br />

you would honour<br />

Christ himself.”<br />

St Francis of Assisi<br />

Feast Day:<br />

4 October<br />

“Do all you can to<br />

preach the gospel<br />

and if necessary<br />

use words!”<br />

Blessed Carlo Acutis<br />

Feast Day:<br />

12 October<br />

“The only thing we<br />

have to ask God for,<br />

in prayer, is the<br />

desire to be holy.”<br />

St Teresa of Ávila<br />

Feast Day:<br />

15 October<br />

“Trust God that you<br />

are exactly where you<br />

are meant to be.”<br />

St John of the Cross<br />

Feast Day:<br />

14 December<br />

“In sorrow and suffering, go straight to God<br />

with confidence, and you will be strengthened,<br />

enlightened and instructed.”<br />

St Catherine of<br />

Labouré<br />

Feast Day:<br />

28 November<br />

“One must see God<br />

in everyone.”<br />


Nurturing a child’s<br />

cultural heritage<br />

Sarah with a student at<br />

Ambrose Winston Hills<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />


Are your children shy about their cultural heritage?<br />

Our educators in the Diocese of Parramatta have<br />

some tips to keep children connected with this<br />

part of their lives.<br />

Sarah Prego, Assistant Coordinator of Ambrose at<br />

St Paul the Apostle Primary School, Winston Hills,<br />

already sees some differences in how children today<br />

see their cultural heritage compared to when she<br />

was a child.<br />

With a South American heritage, she was reluctant to<br />

learn Spanish, her family’s language. Sadly she also<br />

experienced some teasing around this.<br />

“I just wanted to take Vegemite sandwiches to school,”<br />

she says, instead of the delicious pastas, schnitzels<br />

and other foods her mother prepared for her.<br />

Still only in her mid-twenties, she is thrilled to see the<br />

children at Ambrose embracing their cultural heritage.<br />

Ambrose Winston Hills, like most of the Diocese<br />

of Parramatta, has a varied cultural makeup. She<br />

counts around nine different nationalities represented<br />

at the centre.<br />

While part of her own experience was due to,<br />

attitudes that had been around under previous<br />

immigration policies, Sarah credits the change in<br />

attitude to a more intentional approach to children’s<br />

cultural heritage today.<br />

“We’ve incorporated food from the countries our<br />

students come from,” she says, as an example of<br />

the strategies they use at Ambrose. “We’ve served a<br />

South American bread called alfajores, and children<br />

have told me how their grandma also makes it. We’ve<br />

also served roti bread which was very exciting for a<br />

student from Malaysia. When we served butter chicken,<br />

one of our students with an Indian heritage was very<br />

proud to tell us it is what his mum makes at home.”<br />

The centre keeps the conversation going throughout<br />

the activities. “We play lots of soccer,” says Sarah,<br />

and we tell one of our students who’s a great player,<br />

that he’s sure to represent Lebanon one day!<br />

We also read and discuss<br />

books, such as those on<br />

Aboriginal culture, which<br />

a child brought to read to<br />

the other students about her<br />

family’s heritage.<br />

Sarah cautions that children need to find their own<br />

pace, particularly around the age group of 9 to 13<br />

years old. This is when they will be finding out who<br />

they are as people, so it’s natural they might ‘push<br />

back’ at times. She reassures parents that as long as<br />

the connection to culture is there, young people will<br />

pick it up again when they are developmentally ready.<br />

This is exactly what happened to her.<br />


It's an experience that the school community of St<br />

Andrews College at Marayong can relate to. With<br />

over a dozen nationalities at the school at any one<br />

time, the school comes together to celebrate with<br />

a ‘Unity Day’ celebration, also attended by around<br />

1,000 family members. At the event, students can<br />

showcase their culture in music, dance, clothing,<br />

food, sport and more. Leader of Learning Music<br />

and Performance, Antonio Chiapetta, sees not only<br />

the enjoyment it brings the students, but also the<br />

confidence and school spirit it fosters.<br />

“Students realise it’s cool to embrace their story, and<br />

perhaps share their vulnerability,” he says. “It’s great<br />

to see them comfortable in their own skin.”<br />

Manager - <strong>Catholic</strong> Youth Parramatta, Qwayne<br />

Guevara sees the impact of accepting our cultural<br />

heritage in her work with young people’s faith.<br />

“When we embrace our multicultural reality, we send<br />

a message that faith is not just for a few, but for all,”<br />

she says.<br />

“This is important in our work in youth ministry. We<br />

want each young person to know that they belong<br />

- in all that they are, even in the way their culture<br />

expresses faith, builds community, and engages in<br />

service and mission.” <br />

Tips to help your<br />

children embrace their<br />

cultural heritage:<br />

• Be patient – make your culture<br />

accessible to your children.<br />

• There may be culturally-based activity<br />

groups in your community your child<br />

might enjoy – check them out.<br />

• Understand where your child is at<br />

developmentally. From ages 9 to 13,<br />

children are finding out who they are. At<br />

this age they tend to be resistant to lots<br />

of things, including pressure to conform<br />

to the family. Don’t worry, it’s a natural<br />

stage of child development.<br />

• Be proud yourself – set an example of<br />

living your cultural heritage with pride.<br />

Students at St Andrews Marayong celebrate their<br />

cultural heritage at their annual Unity Day celebration<br />

Image: St Andrews Marayong

From left: Geoffrey Kemmis (Assistant Principal),<br />

Jeanette Holland (Principal), Julia Freeman (School Captain),<br />

Abhishek Maharaj (School Captain), Gavin Hilder (Assistant Principal<br />

Image: CEDP<br />

A servant leader<br />


St Agnes <strong>Catholic</strong> High School Principal Jeanette<br />

Holland loves the Rooty Hill community she<br />

serves, her staff and most importantly, students.<br />

Yet when asked about her role as a school leader,<br />

she quickly turns the conversation to those<br />

around her.<br />

“I’d prefer to talk about the school, the students<br />

and our great teachers rather than me front and<br />

centre. I want to celebrate the things that we all do,”<br />

Jeanette said.<br />

St Agnes <strong>Catholic</strong> High School is a proudly culturally<br />

diverse co-educational Years 7 to 12 school. From<br />

its humble beginnings in 1962, St Agnes <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

High School has grown from a school of just 27<br />

girls to a vibrant community of 865 students. With<br />

a strong focus on sharing their Franciscan charism<br />

through all they do, the school looks to serve the<br />

community, others in need and seeks to make a<br />

genuine difference.<br />

Leading this community requires the type of leader<br />

who not only has a deep understanding of learning<br />

and teaching but who values the importance of<br />

building relationships to bring people together for a<br />

common purpose.<br />

“It is not just about me,” Jeanette said. “My role is<br />

to serve the community, that is really important. The<br />

work we do in schools is relational, whether it is in<br />

the classroom or in the staffroom, so it starts with<br />

getting to know each other as people,” she said. “It’s<br />

all about caring about others, not being removed<br />

from them. It is about being on the ground, building<br />

relationships, working things through and being<br />

present to the students, the staff and the parents.<br />

It’s not leadership, it’s leading,” she said. “Anyone<br />

can talk themselves up, you need someone who<br />

walks the talk.”<br />


It’s all about caring about<br />

others, not being removed<br />

from them. It is about being<br />

on the ground, building<br />

relationships, working things<br />

through and being present to<br />

the students, the staff and the<br />

parents. It’s not leadership,<br />

it’s leading.<br />

Jeanette also comes to supporting teachers with this<br />

same view. Her colleague Lauren Walters, who just<br />

won the Australian Schools Plus Early Career Teacher<br />

Award in the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards,<br />

says Jeanette is the best boss she’s ever had.<br />

“Jeanette is a truly inspiring leader. Since coming<br />

to St Agnes, Jeanette has taken the time to get to<br />

know each and every one of her staff, learning their<br />

professional interests and strengths, and providing<br />

opportunities for us to explore those interests, Lauren<br />

reflects. “She has a real team mentality, welcoming<br />

and appreciating our input into decisions. What's in<br />

the best interest of the students underpins everything<br />

that she does.”<br />

As Jeanette herself reflected: “Leadership isn’t about<br />

being centre stage, it is about putting other people<br />

forward and giving them a voice and an opportunity<br />

to lead. It is about building capacity in others,<br />

working with and assisting them in their leadership.”<br />

“I guess you could call that being a servant leader.” <br />

Careers Advisor and teacher Nashwa Karafotias,<br />

who leads many of the school’s outstanding<br />

programs to support students from culturally diverse<br />

backgrounds, said this approach instills a positive<br />

culture of mutual respect at St Agnes. “Jeanette<br />

treats staff and students on an equal playing<br />

field bringing consistency and a new perspective<br />

to all that she does,” said Nashwa. “She is the<br />

true definition of a servant leader leading at the<br />

ground level.”<br />

Jeanette previously served as Assistant Principal<br />

and Acting Principal of Marian College Kenthurst<br />

and most recently worked within the Learning team<br />

at <strong>Catholic</strong> Education but said she was drawn to St<br />

Agnes because of the community. “I thought I could<br />

make a difference here and the students are lovely,<br />

so respectful and grateful,” Jeanette said. “For our<br />

school, we have to be very aware of cultural context<br />

and communication because of the diversity. We<br />

offer pathways leadership opportunities looking at<br />

the students wholistically, identifying where they<br />

are at, opening their worlds to where they can go,<br />

guiding them to achieve their goals.”<br />

Being an advocate for students and building their<br />

confidence to achieve is a top priority. “Self efficacy<br />

is really important and we really look at how we can<br />

help to build that up in the students so they can look<br />

at themselves as learners and know that they can<br />

do anything – work hard, overcome obstacles and<br />

achieve,” she said.<br />

Childcare Services<br />

built on <strong>Catholic</strong> values<br />

ENROL NOW!<br />

Ambrose Early Learning Traditional and<br />

extended hours Preschool education<br />

Ambrose School Age Care Before and<br />

After School Care (OSHC) for K-6 children<br />

Ambrose Activities Innovative afternoon<br />

Masterclasses led by schoolteachers,<br />

covering exciting topics like art, sport,<br />

robotics, dance and cooking<br />

Vacation Care School holidays and<br />

pupil-free days, K-6 children enjoy fun activities<br />

in professionally supervised, caring environments<br />

A social enterprise of <strong>Catholic</strong> Diocese of Parramatta Services Limited (CDPSL)<br />

ENROL NOW!<br />

Government subsidies available to eligible families.<br />

Visit ambrose.org.au or scan the QR Code<br />


Speak up, speak<br />

out and speak on<br />

Sr Joan Chittister at a speaking<br />

event in Parramatta in May<br />

<strong>2022</strong>. Image: Diocese<br />

of Parramatta<br />


Prophets are the heroes<br />

of the day. They keep one<br />

eye on society's will for a<br />

few and the other eye on<br />

God’s will for everyone.<br />

The time is now to be people who are committed<br />

and have courage to speak the word of God. The<br />

roar of silence is no longer acceptable and we<br />

need to take steps to determine the future of our<br />

planet and our people.<br />

This was the message of American Benedictine<br />

nun, theologian and author Sr Joan Chittister as<br />

she addressed her audience at Monte Sant’ Angelo<br />

Mercy College North Sydney on 30 May <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Sr Joan spoke with passion about our need to be<br />

challenged by the example of Jesus and to be people<br />

who speak out against injustice. Speaking about<br />

the prevalence of violence, she shared her fears<br />

for the modern world, where people come second<br />

to personal profit and advancement and where the<br />

planet is carelessly used and not protected.<br />

Taking action for change<br />

• Get involved in the conversations<br />

that matter through blogs, petitions<br />

and groups.<br />

• Study the issues that threaten life and<br />

justice by reading and engaging in<br />

dialogue with others.<br />

• Seek solutions that are not the trusted<br />

old way but are innovative, capable of<br />

making real change and taking us into<br />

the future.<br />

Her concern, she said, is for the choices that<br />

we make when faced with challenges. Sr Joan<br />

suggested that we are people who choose to ignore,<br />

leaving it to others to answer the problems. We are<br />

people who surrender and eventually just accept the<br />

situation, taking on the values of society rather than<br />

the Faith. Her response is to not ignore or surrender,<br />

but rather disrupt. She suggests we become prophets<br />

who speak up against all that goes against the voice<br />

and vision of God so loudly it cannot be ignored.<br />

Sr Joan acknowledged that being a prophet is<br />

not easy. She recounted the stories of the Biblical<br />

Prophets who were afraid to accept the call from<br />

God, not wanting to have their lives interrupted, and<br />

so made a list of all the reasons why they could not<br />

accept the call, including their personal limitations.<br />

God’s answer was that He needed them now,<br />

demanding that they be courageous and committed,<br />

trusting they had something great to offer.<br />

The reluctance to be a prophet in the modern world<br />

has not changed. We too feel that we are unavailable<br />

to do the will of God for all the same reasons – too<br />

busy, not skilled enough, or afraid. Just like the<br />

prophets of old, God needs us now. God wants us<br />

to disrupt rather than ignore and challenge rather<br />

than surrender.<br />


On a personal level, I felt inspired to learn more about<br />

the issues that threaten the equality of people and<br />

the planet so that I would no longer be a passive<br />

observer but rather someone who was able to<br />

contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way. Sr<br />

Joan’s suggestions made me think that the call to be<br />

a prophet in the modern world was possible, stating<br />

that even the smallest of acts have the potential to<br />

seed change and make life better for everyone.<br />

...we must show our<br />

students the way to a<br />

Gospel-centred culture<br />

of love and compassion,<br />

solidarity and service in<br />

the world where there is so<br />

much fear, indifference and<br />

marginalisation...<br />

Bishop Vincent Long,<br />

CEDP System Leaders’ Day, January 2018. <br />

Margurite O’Connor is a member of the Mission Team,<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Schools leading the way<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education Diocese of Parramatta<br />

schools work with various agencies to<br />

actively live out the message of Sr Joan to<br />

be prophets who speak up, speak out and<br />

speak on. Examples of initiatives include:<br />

• The Winter Appeal and Winter Sleepout<br />

(St Vincent de Paul)<br />

• Project Compassion Fundraising (Caritas)<br />

• Socktober (<strong>Catholic</strong> Mission)<br />

• Food Drives (Jesuit Social Services)<br />

• Interfaith Education (Together for Humanity)<br />

• <strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare Summit<br />

(<strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare)<br />

• Recycling and sustainability initiatives<br />

(<strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare)<br />

Through such initiatives, our students and<br />

staff are invited and are accepting the call<br />

to be prophets who say NO to everything<br />

that goes against God and YES to equality,<br />

justice and life.<br />

Children and their families at Our Lady of the<br />

Nativity Primary, Lawson recently slept out in<br />

the cold in solidarity with the homeless as part<br />

of the Winter Sleepout for St Vincent De Paul<br />

Image: CEDP

The Second Assembly of the<br />

Plenary Council of Australia<br />

on Wednesday 6 July <strong>2022</strong><br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

A reflection on the<br />

Plenary Council<br />

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

Parramatta, wrote this reflection on 17 July <strong>2022</strong>,<br />

following the conclusion of the Second Assembly<br />

of the Plenary Council of the Australian <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

Church which took place 3 to 9 July <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

Dear friends in Christ,<br />



Last week, nine delegates from our Diocese,<br />

including myself, participated as members of the<br />

Plenary Council in the Final Assembly in Sydney.<br />

This was a historic event in the life of the Church in<br />

Australia. We gathered to pray, listen, discern and<br />

make decisions, mindful of the voice of the Holy<br />

Spirit through God’s Word, tradition, the magisterium<br />

and the signs of the times. We were conscious of<br />

your communion with us through personal interest,<br />

prayers and loving support. As at the first gathering<br />

on the feast of St Francis of Assisi in 2021, we were<br />

stirred by the call issued to us as once to him: “Go<br />

and rebuild my Church that is falling into ruins”. We<br />

earnestly sought to address the many challenges<br />

we face as a community of disciples and map out a<br />

better future for the Church going forward.<br />

I am pleased to say that the Plenary Council has<br />

been a moment of grace, a celebration of hope and<br />

a conviction of God’s enduring accompaniment. Like<br />

the disciples with Mary in the Upper Room, we were<br />

bonded in one common faith, one baptism and one<br />

Lord. Despite our differences, which were many and<br />

intense at times, we came together with the best<br />

interest of the Church at heart.<br />

Of the many issues discussed, debated and voted<br />

upon, the Plenary Council showed strong support for<br />

the Uluru Statement from the Heart. <strong>Catholic</strong>s have<br />

largely been ahead of the general community on First<br />

Nations concerns. We have long learned to honour<br />

Indigenous language, culture, wisdom, sovereignty<br />


and way of life. Calling for a First Nations Voice to<br />

Parliament to be enshrined in Australia’s constitution<br />

is indeed a momentous step.<br />

On ecology, there is a recognition of the urgency in<br />

addressing the environmental crises of our times and<br />

a commitment to join the Laudato Si’ Action Plan.<br />

This call to action obliges us not only to care for our<br />

common home as a matter of planetary sustainability<br />

but also a sense of God-given stewardship. In<br />

other words, ecological conversion in all of its<br />

manifestations is a deeply spiritual concern arising<br />

from our love of God and all of his creation. Our<br />

response to the cry of the poor and the cry of the<br />

earth is inextricably linked together.<br />

One of the most contentious issues was the motion<br />

concerning the equality and dignity of women and<br />

men in governance structures, ministry and decisionmaking<br />

mechanisms. The discussion took place at a<br />

half-way point and proved to be a pivotal moment.<br />

Providentially, the reading for that day was part of the<br />

Pentecost story. It read “and suddenly from heaven,<br />

there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind<br />

and it filled the entire house where they were sitting”.<br />

We did not expect a kind of “violent wind” that<br />

disrupted, changed the group dynamic and led to a<br />

moment of profound revelation.<br />

When the initial motion failed to receive the majority<br />

of the deliberative votes, the bishops realised we<br />

could not continue business as usual. There were<br />

tears, deep sorrow and hurt in the room, especially<br />

among those who staged a silent protest. This<br />

caught me totally unawares at first but I eventually<br />

walked around and shared the pain. Later on, the<br />

bishops held crisis talks, agreed on the re-drafting<br />

and the assembly passed the re-worked motion.<br />

Like the disciples with Mary<br />

in the Upper Room, we were<br />

bonded in one common faith,<br />

one baptism and one Lord.<br />

For some, the protest might have been judged as<br />

a stunt and an act of intimidation. For many others,<br />

myself included, it was a respectful and powerful<br />

gesture of dissent, rooted in the prophetic tradition.<br />


There was a<br />

profound sense of<br />

being together and<br />

working together<br />

even if we have<br />

distinct roles in<br />

the Church.<br />

Bishop Vincent casts a vote<br />

at the Second Assembly of<br />

the Plenary Council<br />

Image: Fiona Basile/ACBC<br />

The assembly could have walked away with a<br />

superficial unity had we not addressed this iconic<br />

issue of our time. I believe that the Church cannot<br />

have a better future if it persists in the old paradigm<br />

of clericalism and male dominance. So long as<br />

we continue to exclude women from the Church’s<br />

governance structures, decision-making processes<br />

and institutional functions, we deprive ourselves of<br />

richness of our full humanity.<br />

I thank God that the Plenary Council had the<br />

humility and courage to not go home with a false<br />

unity but a deep and new awareness of God’s<br />

unfolding revelation and our evolving maturity.<br />

At least that is the indication of the majority.<br />

The Synodal journey can be messy, painful and<br />

uncertain. But it can lead to renewed and deepened<br />

commitment and even transformation. The mood<br />

of the assembly changed after the matter had been<br />

dealt with. For many, it was like a paschal moment<br />

that brought a ray of hope out of despair.<br />

The Plenary Council was an act of enormous trust,<br />

or perhaps in betting terms, a massive gamble.<br />

It was an Abrahamic journey from the start. We<br />

gambled on the invitation of Pope Francis to be<br />

the People of God, walking together, sharing the<br />

burdens of humanity, listening to the voice of the<br />

most marginalised, reforming its structures and ways<br />

of doing things. We did not set out to resolve every<br />

question of importance. For instance, on matter of<br />

sex and gender, there was very little on the agenda.<br />

The acceptance of LGBTIQ+ as the reference to nonbinary<br />

brothers and sisters was perhaps not a small<br />

consensus among the members.<br />

In the end, the significance of this synodal exercise<br />

was much more than what was decided. What was<br />

highly symbolic and paradigm-shifting was the<br />

fact that we met as equals. The emphasis on the<br />

superiority of the ordained gave way to an ecclesial<br />

communion based on common baptism. Bishops,<br />

priests, religious and lay were all addressed by our<br />

first names. No one’s voice counted more than<br />

another’s. There was a profound sense of being<br />

together and working together even if we have<br />

distinct roles in the Church.<br />


Dear sisters and brothers,<br />

In today’s Gospel, Martha was occupied with serving<br />

her guests, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened<br />

to his teaching. Martha wanted her sister to help<br />

with the serving, but Jesus gently informed her that<br />

Mary had chosen the better portion, which would<br />

not be taken from her. This stance was more radical<br />

than modern readers may realise. In Jewish culture,<br />

women weren’t allowed to study theology, and the<br />

student’s place at a rabbi’s feet was reserved for men<br />

only. By welcoming Mary as a pupil, Jesus flipped<br />

that cultural script on its head.<br />

There were many other stories of how he treated<br />

women with kindness and respect, affirming their<br />

value and dignity as those made in the image of<br />

God. He welcomed them, defended them, freed and<br />

empowered them to find their identity as daughters<br />

of God. He included women in his ministry team and<br />

welcomed them as disciples, to follow and learn from<br />

him – actions unheard of for a Jewish rabbi.<br />

Inspired by the example of Jesus and the guidance<br />

of the Holy Spirit on the Plenary Council, may<br />

the Church learn to embody a way of being<br />

together, sharing responsibility and proclaiming<br />

God’s Kingdom. We must continue to embody the<br />

alternative relational paradigm that Jesus taught.<br />

This counter paradigm turns the world’s system of<br />

power structures on its head because it is rooted in<br />

the biblical narrative of the new social order of radical<br />

inclusion, justice and equality.<br />

All things considered, the Plenary Council has<br />

moved decisively towards the vision of Vatican II. I am<br />

heartened to say that most of its insights have already<br />

been captured by our unique “Parramatta Way”.<br />

Women, in particular, are indispensable in our synodal<br />

structures and decision-making processes such as<br />

the Diocesan Curia. We hope to keep the momentum<br />

going and implement all the endorsed decrees.<br />

As we move into a new era, may we grow to be a<br />

more fit for purpose Church, so that we can be a more<br />

effective vehicle for the Good News. May the Holy<br />

Spirit “lead the Church in Australia into a hope-filled<br />

future, that we may live the joy of the Gospel, through<br />

Jesus Christ our Lord, bread for the journey from<br />

age to age.” Amen. <br />

Read the motions and decrees from the Plenary<br />

Council at plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au<br />

Have you been considering<br />

broadening your faith<br />

understanding?<br />

Wondering where to next in your pastoral activities?<br />

What paths study may lead to?<br />

• Many tertiary theological degrees to choose from<br />

• Small class sizes and quality of lecturers ensure a personalised learning experience<br />

• Classes can be audited (attended without completing assessment)<br />

• Government assistance for tuition fees is available to eligible students<br />

For more information contact us on:<br />

T: 02 9752 9500 I e: registrar@cis.catholic.edu.au<br />

or visit our website: www.cis.catholic.edu.au<br />

CIS is a Partner Institution of the University of Notre Dame, Australia<br />

99 Albert Road, Strathfield NSW 2135

Looking Deeper<br />

The following articles encourage deeper reflection,<br />

prayer and personal learning.<br />

Lisbon, Portugal, the location of World Youth Day 2023<br />

Image: Shutterstock

Looking Deeper

The journey within<br />

Gospel Pointers<br />


As persons on pilgrimage, we engage in the<br />

quest for meaning, and in the movement towards<br />

spiritual health and maturity.<br />

We strive, individually and together, for human<br />

wellbeing, and for the flourishing of all life on<br />

Earth. Whether or not we may identify ourselves as<br />

‘pilgrims’, we are all members of the global family,<br />

moving onwards in a world of continuing war and<br />

violence, of dramatic and increasing climate change,<br />

and of a continuing COVID culture.<br />

This brief reflection will consider some of the<br />

questions Jesus Himself faced in relation to His own<br />

human journey, as well as some of the questions<br />

He poses to those He invited to ‘Come, follow me’<br />

(Lk 18:22). As ones beloved by our Creator God, we<br />

yearn and strive for life within the daily pilgrimage of<br />

the unfolding of our life’s story. And as disciples of<br />

Jesus, we remember that all is grace:<br />

No one can come to me unless<br />

the Father who sent me,<br />

draws him.<br />

(Jn 6:44)<br />

In the fullness of time, the Divine Pilgrim began His<br />

journey: ‘The Word became flesh and dwelt among<br />

us’ (Jn 1:14). And as we know ‘He emptied Himself…<br />

becoming like us in all things’ (Phil 2:7). He struggled,<br />

questioned, agonised. Being the beloved Son of God<br />

did not remove Him from the doubts, temptations<br />

and challenges faced by us all.<br />

A query (perhaps something like ‘Why should I<br />

help you’?) was implied in Jesus’ response to the<br />

Canaanite woman’s plea (Mt 15:24). Similarly at Cana<br />

– before his public journey began – with the question<br />

to His mother: ‘Woman, what does this have to<br />

do with me?’ (Jn 2:4). Experiencing and reflecting<br />

integrity includes voicing the questions along the<br />

way, looking for answers, struggling with the truth:<br />

the truth of who I am, to what (and to whom) I am<br />

called. Jesus experienced these challenges.<br />

Along the way He Himself took, we may ask what<br />

were His own deep feelings and queries behind such<br />

questions as ‘Who do they say I am?’ (Mt 16:13)<br />

Along with the scholarly biblical commentaries on<br />

such passages, may we also surmise that Jesus<br />

had hopes and fears about his reputation? And what<br />

were His feelings behind the sad, quiet question?<br />

34<br />

Image: Shutterstock

Looking Deeper<br />

‘Where are the other nine?’ (Lk 17:17). He too,<br />

experienced disappointment, ingratitude, dismissal.<br />

His integrity however, did not depend on the approval<br />

or admiration of others.<br />

Jesus’ integrity was reflected in His daily living<br />

and dying. ‘I am the Way’ (Jn 14:6), He told us. We<br />

witness in His living an everyday engagement and<br />

unfolding of the paschal mystery. Yes, there was a<br />

price to be paid for proclaiming and witnessing to the<br />

Kingdom. What sustained Him all along the way? He<br />

told us: ‘My meat is to do the will of Him who sent<br />

me’ (Jn 4:34) and furthermore, as faithful pilgrim, we<br />

hear Him say: ‘I came forth from the Father and have<br />

come into the world; I am leaving the world again<br />

and am going to the Father’ (Jn 16:28).<br />

Such profound and total belonging did not cancel<br />

out that final deep cry from the heart: ‘Why have you<br />

abandoned me?’ (Mt 27:46). Jesus’ walk with the<br />

Spirit, and with His Abba, along with His faithfulness<br />

to the human condition and struggle remained to the<br />

end when, with the Resurrection, His transformation<br />

was accomplished.<br />

And what of His questions to us, as we ourselves<br />

continue on our way and strive for personal integrity,<br />

and for that freedom of spirit which it brings?<br />

‘Who do you say I am?’ He asks. So how do I name<br />

who He is for me. And His later stark question: ‘Do<br />

you love me?’ Such a direct question invites us to<br />

respond truthfully, and in so doing to recognise and<br />

name the nature of our relationship. The question<br />

may move us to face our insecurities perhaps, or our<br />

duplicity, our hypocrisy, our lack of integrity.<br />

Another challenging question Jesus poses ‘What do<br />

you want me to do for you?’ invites us to sit with the<br />

question awhile and then to respond with humility<br />

and honesty. Similarly, with the even more specific<br />

invitation: ‘Do you want me to wash your feet?’ which<br />

may encourage us to sit quietly with our own reality<br />

– and with our relationship with the One we call<br />

‘Lord and God’.<br />

To own and address these – and other questions, to<br />

address them with sincerity – this is our on-going<br />

task. It is one that requires courage, but one that<br />

can bring freedom – and ultimately, deep peace.<br />

We hold on to those encouraging words of the Divine<br />

Pilgrim: ‘I am going away and I will come to you.’<br />

(Jn 14:28). On our own pilgrim way, we trust in the<br />

loving presence and guidance of the Spirit (Jn 16:7).<br />

We walk on together. <br />

Dr Robyn Reynolds OLSH spent many years living and<br />

working in remote Aboriginal communities in northern and<br />

central Australia. She now teaches at the University of<br />

Divinity in Melbourne (Yarra Theological Union) and also at<br />

‘Heart of Life’, Centre for Spiritual & Pastoral Formation.<br />




Good deeds will live beyond your lifetime<br />

with a gift in Will to your parish and faith community.<br />

After providing for your family and loved ones,<br />

please consider sharing God’s blessings with<br />

future generations.<br />

For information on remembering your<br />

family in Christ and our compassionate<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> ministries in your Will, please scan

Journeying to Emmaus<br />


Many of us like to travel. But Christians are not<br />

just tourists but pilgrims on a faith journey deep<br />

into God’s loving presence.<br />

Of course, it’s great that we can literally walk ‘in the<br />

footsteps of Jesus’ when we visit the Holy Land.<br />

It’s also wonderful for us to encounter the sacred as<br />

we pray and meditate at such holy places as Rome,<br />

Assisi and Lourdes. Such pilgrimages are often<br />

the highlight of many people’s spiritual lives. And<br />

certainly, World Youth Day pilgrimages have helped<br />

energise many young people’s faith lives in our own<br />

recent times.<br />

But Jesus of Nazareth calls us to go far deeper than<br />

these external physical pilgrimages.<br />

There is a little verse from the early Irish Church<br />

that points this out:<br />

Who to Rome goes,<br />

Much labour, little profit knows.<br />

For God, on earth though<br />

long you sought him.<br />

You’ll miss in Rome<br />

unless you brought him.<br />

Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, in reality,<br />

our inner journey of faith can actually be quite<br />

confusing! We can often experience moments of<br />

despair (“we had hoped”) before recognising that the<br />

Risen Jesus has been there all along!<br />

Karl Rahner, the great Jesuit theologian, helps us<br />

pilgrims navigate that spiritual journey.<br />

Rahner once wisely observed that there are<br />

essentially two types of spirituality in the Church<br />

today. One is a ‘summertime’ spirituality where<br />

people find God easily accessible and understood.<br />

Such people are gifted with a sense of certainty and<br />

a conviction that the beauty and truth of God is very<br />

nearby. Perhaps this more external style of faith was<br />

easier to live in a culture that was thoroughly <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

like in the medieval period.<br />

The other spirituality however is a ‘wintertime’ style<br />

of faith where people, battered and bruised by the<br />

chaos and suffering of the world, need to go an inner<br />

pilgrimage to address the mystery of pain and chaos<br />

all around them.<br />

Rahner argued that this is the more typical journey<br />

of contemporary <strong>Catholic</strong>s struggling to believe. It<br />

is a difficult pilgrimage that goes on inside our own<br />

souls, as we seek to discover the hidden Christ who<br />

mysteriously dwells in our very own hearts.<br />

Not surprisingly, that’s a pilgrimage we are all too<br />

often very reluctant to undertake. For it can involve<br />

loneliness, depression and even tempt some<br />

to self-hatred.<br />

It inevitably demands navigating a ‘dark night of the<br />

soul’. For at some point in all our lives, like Jesus, we<br />

each have our own personal ‘agony in the garden’.<br />

Then the demons of our inner life come to the fore<br />

and wreak havoc. Old obsessions and wounds,<br />

perhaps even guilt and shame at past failures rush in.<br />

Martin Laird OSA, in his wonderful book Into the<br />

Silent Land, describes it poetically as “the liturgy<br />

of our wounds”. Unquestionably, it is a long and<br />

demanding task for most of us. It certainly is for me.<br />

Laird explains that there is a deeply ingrained<br />

tendency to recoil from our own brokenness, to judge<br />

it as others have judged it, to loathe it as we have<br />

been ‘taught’ over a lifetime to loathe it. In doing<br />

this we avoid what God, in Christ, draws close to<br />

and embraces.<br />

Like the companions of Jesus on the road to<br />

Emmaus, our Resurrection moments can come as<br />

quite a shock to us! Like them, as we ponder the<br />

Scriptures and break bread with our Risen Lord, we<br />

can be often surprised, even shocked, by grace.<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Supper at Emmaus,<br />

detail of high altar by<br />

Sieger Koder in Church<br />

of Our Lady of Sorrows in<br />

Rosenberg, Germany<br />

For at such moments of epiphany we discover,<br />

alongside the depressed and despairing disciples<br />

of Emmaus, how God interrupts our lives. For our<br />

God meets us at that precise point where we are<br />

most in need, in our poverty and brokenness. And<br />

paradoxically, this costly acceptance of Christ's<br />

compassionate love, opens our eyes to the reality<br />

that 'all is grace'.<br />

As Gerald Manley Hopkins S.J divined:<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 />

Thank God we are each given many ‘resurrection’<br />

moments on our Emmaus like journey of faith.<br />

They console us on our pilgrimage home to the<br />

Father of all mercies.<br />

For as the early Irish mystics would say:<br />

Let your feet follow your<br />

heart until you find your<br />

place of resurrection.<br />

<br />

Chríst – for Christ plays in ten thousand places,<br />

Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his<br />

To the Father through the features of men's faces.<br />

Br Mark O’Connor FMS is the Vicar for Communications<br />

in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />


Living in the monastery<br />

of the heart<br />


Image: Shutterstock<br />

Historians note that when the period of Christian<br />

martyrdom ceased around the beginning of the<br />

4th Century A.D, the phenomenon that we know<br />

as Christian monasticism began to sprout and<br />

flourish. It was as Tertullian, an early Christian<br />

writer said, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed<br />

of the Church.” Martyrdom transformed the<br />

person into the perfected, complete, full and<br />

whole image of the divine.<br />

Such a process of transformation is the hope and<br />

goal of our Christian life. St Paul expresses this<br />

central reality of our faith journey in the third chapter<br />

of his second letter to the Christian community in<br />

Corinth. Using the beautiful image of the mirror, he<br />

describes our transformation into Christ in terms of<br />

light. Paul portrays our life journey in faith, as one<br />

in which we reflect like mirrors the brightness of the<br />

Lord. In doing this faithfully, we all grow brighter and<br />

brighter until eventually we are transformed into the<br />

image of the one that we reflect (2 Cor:18).<br />

The spiritual movement of the Desert Fathers and<br />

Mothers which formed the foundations of Christian<br />

monasticism, was grounded in this Pauline belief of<br />

the divinization of the human person. St Athanasius,<br />

Bishop of Alexandria from 328, said “that God<br />

became man in order that man might become God.”<br />

In a short biography of Anthony of Egypt one of the<br />

earliest of the desert fathers, Athanasius shows how<br />

only God incarnate can transform human nature into<br />

divine likeness. To participate in this transformation,<br />

certain spiritual practices were adopted by those in<br />

the monastic desert communities. One of these was<br />

a simple focussed mantra called “The Jesus Prayer.”<br />

This prayer is founded on the biblical view that God’s<br />

name is conceived as the place of God’s presence.<br />

The Vatican II Council (1962-1965) called us all<br />

to renewal in the light of the foundational story of<br />

Christianity. In current times, many books are being<br />

written and programmes created which reflect the<br />

grounded spirituality of the early centuries of our<br />

Christian tradition. One of these is a book titled,<br />

Joy in God - Rekindling an Inner Fire by Joachim<br />

Hartman SJ and Annette Clara Unkelhäußer.<br />

They propose a method which is titled the “Gries<br />

Path.” It is based on a contemplative approach to<br />

prayer characterised by simplicity, silence and an<br />

attentiveness which enables God in the present<br />

moment, to be revealed.<br />

The authors have developed a consistent approach<br />

structured in conversational style, to assist those<br />

who wish to deepen this way of enabling God to<br />

illuminate and transform their lives.<br />

It is framed within what they term, as a spiritual<br />

conversation concentrated around two central<br />

questions. These echo the experience of the<br />

Emmaus Disciples (Luke: 24:13-35)<br />

Why was my heart burning?<br />

Where were my eyes opened?<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

In all the reflections there is an accent on awakening<br />

the senses. They are seen as significant doorways<br />

leading us to become more aware of the presence of<br />

God in us, in our lives and in all that is. The chapters<br />

are focussed on the following foundational themes<br />

relating to the life of the human spirit;<br />

Gratitude and Joy<br />

Emptiness and Fullness<br />

Healing and Wholeness<br />

Suffering and Consolation<br />

Forgiveness and Reconciliation<br />

Vocation and Mission<br />

The pairing of these themes with what appears to<br />

be oppositional movements, enables a perception of<br />

spiritual wholeness wherein as Richard Rohr (2003)<br />

says “everything belongs.” Our journey to wholeness<br />

or as the Vatican II Document, Lumen Gentium<br />

(1964) says “holiness,” is about integrating these<br />

apparent opposites.<br />

In recent years, Lawrence Freeman osb, Director of<br />

the World Community for Christian Meditation, spoke<br />

of this contemplative way of prayer as being for all.<br />

He described those who are engaged in the prayer<br />

of the heart as the new monks of the modern world.<br />

Noting that “some live in traditional monasteries<br />

but the majority do not. Many are integrating what<br />

previously seemed impossible to reconcile – deep<br />

spiritual practice, and conjugal love, solitude and<br />

social responsibility.”<br />

Through our Baptism, we are<br />

all called into this “way of the<br />

pilgrim” wherever life finds us.<br />

Just as the pilgrim travels lightly,<br />

this small accessible book gives<br />

us the essentials to find and<br />

remain dwelling in the heart of<br />

God, thus enabling our inner<br />

divine spring, to continue to well<br />

up within us to the fullness of life.<br />

The book can be used in a<br />

supportive way both personally or<br />

with small faith sharing groups. <br />

Sr Patty Andrew osu is an Ursuline<br />

Sister in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

Images: Messenger Publications and<br />

Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Let us care for those who have cared<br />

for us through their lifetime of service<br />

Please give generously to the Bishop’s Father’s Day<br />

Appeal supporting our retired and sick clergy<br />


The Pilgrim Church<br />


After almost three years without travelling<br />

anywhere, I embarked on my first international<br />

journey. I was struck by the vulnerability of being<br />

a traveller.<br />

The language, customs and food were foreign, and I<br />

felt uncomfortable and out of place. Even with those<br />

who spoke English, my accent immediately betrayed<br />

my foreignness. Even the night refused to come, as<br />

the Scandinavian midnight sun stayed up 23 out of<br />

24 hours. I was no longer “at home”, a jarring feeling<br />

after endlessly “being at home”. I could not take<br />

anything for granted. Even simple conversations<br />

required effort to bridge the language and cultural<br />

gaps. I was confronted with how much easier it is to<br />

be at home – and how challenging to be a foreigner.<br />

This sense of strangeness, of “not-being-at-home”<br />

evokes something of what St Augustine meant when<br />

he called the Church peregrinatio. Notoriously hard to<br />

translate, peregrinatio means “foreigner”, “stranger”,<br />

“exile”, “migrant” – and “pilgrim”.<br />

What does it mean to call the Church “pilgrim”?<br />

To be a pilgrim Church is to be a journeying people,<br />

continually on the move. More than this, it is to be a<br />

“home-less” people. This understanding resonates in<br />

Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, article 6: “The Church,<br />

while on earth it journeys in a foreign land away from<br />

the Lord, is like in exile.” The pilgrim travels far from<br />

home, facing many dangers, moving without rest.<br />

Dr Antonia Pizzey<br />

Image: ACU

Looking Deeper<br />

This sense of Church as pilgrim is also central to<br />

Pope Francis. In Evangelii Gaudium, he insists that<br />

the Church is “first and foremost a people advancing<br />

on its pilgrim way towards God.” In a 2021 address,<br />

he says, “When the Church stops, she is no longer<br />

Church, but a beautiful pious association which<br />

imprisons the Holy Spirit.” Journeying is part of our<br />

nature as Christians – Church is not a “what,” it is<br />

who we are. We are pilgrim. Being pilgrim means to<br />

be not at home; to be vulnerable, but also enriched<br />

by the journey.<br />

Pilgrim Church is not meant to be an individualistic<br />

image; pilgrims travel together. In Christian thinking,<br />

we travel with the entire communion of saints. This<br />

sense of “journeying together” is being evoked by<br />

Pope Francis’ concept of synodality. The Preparatory<br />

Document for the 2023 Synod states: “Our<br />

‘journeying together’ is, in fact, what most effectively<br />

enacts and manifests the nature of the Church as the<br />

pilgrim and missionary People of God.” To be pilgrim<br />

is to be synodal.<br />

Aside from this, the Church as pilgrim highlights two<br />

key dimensions of being Church. Firstly, it refers to<br />

the living Church in history, the Church here and now.<br />

The Church is not a great ark sailing untouched and<br />

impervious over the choppy and dangerous waters of<br />

history. Instead, the Church is a pilgrim people, living<br />

in and with the world. This understanding is reflected<br />

by the opening lines of Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes:<br />

Understanding the Church as pilgrim reminds us of a<br />

certain “now-but-not-yet” that is part of being Church.<br />

As Gaudium et Spes states, in article 48, “The<br />

Church…will attain its full perfection only in the glory<br />

of heaven.” As such, the Church is called always to<br />

conversion and repentance. Repentance is a key part<br />

of being pilgrim, along with the humility to recognise<br />

that we are not yet what the Spirit calls us to be.<br />

Of course, we do not know what the Kingdom will<br />

be like. But Scripture gives us an idea: “See, the<br />

home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with<br />

them; they will be His peoples, and God Himself will<br />

be with them and be their God; He will wipe every<br />

tear from their eyes.” (Rev 21:3-4). For now, we are<br />

a wandering people; but we are walking homeward.<br />

Under the circumstances, what else can we be but a<br />

pilgrim Church? <br />

Dr Antonia Pizzey is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Australian<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> University’s Research Centre for Studies of the<br />

Second Vatican Council. Dr Pizzey has a PhD in Theology<br />

from ACU and is a lecturer at the university’s School of<br />

Theology. Her research focuses on Receptive Ecumenism<br />

and the Church as “pilgrim”.<br />

“The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties<br />

of the people of this age, especially those who<br />

are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the<br />

joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the<br />

followers of Christ.”<br />

As pilgrim, the Church journeys within history, not<br />

outside of it. This Pilgrim Church must be humble,<br />

open to recognising the Spirit at work in other<br />

cultures and languages, not just reinforcing the status<br />

quo. Walking a pilgrim path is one of hardship and<br />

struggle – but also of rebirth through conversion. So,<br />

the image of “pilgrim” reflects the historical nature of<br />

the Church.<br />

Secondly, the Church as pilgrim highlights the<br />

connection between Church and Kingdom. The<br />

Church is not moving purposelessly, like a mouse<br />

running on a wheel, going nowhere. The Church is<br />

journeying always towards the Kingdom of God.<br />

This is what brings hope to the sometimes dark<br />

and suffering journey of the pilgrim people. There<br />

is a destination, a home where we belong, and that<br />

destination is with God.<br />


Our traditions<br />

for those who<br />

have died<br />

On 2 November, we commemorate All Souls Day,<br />

a day we pray for people who have died. This<br />

year, the Diocese of Parramatta also invites you<br />

to its first official Mass for our deceased clergy to<br />

be held 25 November at St Bernadette’s Parish at<br />

Castle Hill, followed by prayers at the gravesides<br />

of clergy buried in Castle Hill Cemetery.<br />

We look at some of the <strong>Catholic</strong> traditions around<br />

death and new life.<br />

Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical (letter) on hope,<br />

Spe Salvi writes about our encounters with Christ<br />

on our deaths and how it is a chance to shed the<br />

trappings of our earthly existence and heal.<br />

“Before His (Christ’s) gaze, all falsehood melts away.<br />

This encounter with Him, as it burns us, transforms<br />

and frees us allowing us to become truly ourselves.<br />

All that we build during our lives can prove to be<br />

mere straw, pure bluster and it collapses. Yet in the<br />

pain of this encounter, when the impurity of sickness<br />

of our lives become evident to us, there lies salvation.<br />

His gaze, the touch of His heart heals us through an<br />

undeniably painful transformation.”<br />

Pope Benedict continues, “The belief that love can<br />

reach into the afterlife, that reciprocal giving and<br />

receiving is possible in which our affection for one<br />

another continues beyond the limits of death – this<br />

has been a fundamental conviction of Christianity<br />

throughout the ages and it remains a source of<br />

comfort today. Who would not feel the need to<br />

convey to their departed loved ones a sign of<br />

kindness, a gesture of gratitude or even a request<br />

for pardon?”<br />

How then, do we show our love to those who have<br />

left us?<br />

Spe Salvi November 2007<br />

A funeral Mass commends the soul of those who<br />

have passed to God as well as consoling family and<br />

friends. Masses can also be offered for the repose of<br />

their souls, whether on the anniversary of their death<br />

or at other special times of the year. This is a gentle<br />

way to pray with our parish communities for our<br />

loved ones.<br />

We can light an offertory candle at our parish church<br />

and ask the intercession of Jesus, Mary, and the<br />

Saints. Visiting our loved one's grave and offering<br />

special prayers is beautiful, and we can keep<br />

photographs of them in our homes or place of work<br />

to prompt us to say a prayer for them.<br />

Praying the Rosary is particularly powerful. Each<br />

Hail Mary concludes with a petition for grace in<br />

death: “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of<br />

our death.”<br />

All Souls Mass in November 2020 at St Patrick's<br />

Cathedral, Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Our God is an incredibly merciful and loving God.<br />

He longs to be with each of us. He welcomes our<br />

prayers for the living and the dead, and He will<br />

certainly reward them. <br />


Looking Deeper<br />

You are invited<br />

The Mass and prayers for the<br />

deceased clergy in the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta commence at<br />

10.30am<br />

25 November <strong>2022</strong><br />

St Bernadette’s Parish,<br />

Castle Hill.<br />

You are invited to attend and give<br />

your gift of prayer to those whose<br />

lives were dedicated to bringing<br />

us all closer to Christ. <br />

Bishop Vincent celebrates All Souls Mass in November<br />

2020 at the St Francis Chapel in St Patrick’s Cemetery,<br />

Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />


Religious Sisters<br />

Photo © ACN International<br />

Sister Rita Kurochkina was born<br />

in Kazakhstan and joined the order<br />

of the Sisters of the Immaculate<br />

Conception of the Blessed Virgin<br />

Mary, which was founded in Poland in<br />

the 1850s to support both the spiritual<br />

and the intellectual formation of<br />

women and girls.<br />

To this day, the congregation is<br />

primarily active in Poland, but<br />

can also be found in a number of<br />

Eastern European countries, such<br />

as Kazakhstan. The religious sisters<br />

run schools, kindergartens, and<br />

children’s homes, teach catechesis<br />

in parishes and give religious<br />

instruction at public schools, take<br />

care of poor children and support<br />

impoverished families. They provide<br />

pastoral care to prisoners and also<br />

organise retreats.<br />

Three sisters, all of them born in<br />

Kazakhstan, work in the house<br />

of St. Clara. They currently take<br />

care of 18 children with difficult<br />

family situations. Sister Rita says,<br />

“Spiritually, the communist system<br />

devastated the people in this<br />

country. Many stopped believing in<br />

God, which led to addiction problems<br />

and dysfunctional families. And the<br />

children suffer the consequences.<br />

The children who come to us have<br />

experienced trauma and tragedy.”<br />

ACN helps one in every 34 of the<br />

630,099 religious Sisters in the<br />

world today! Can you help provide<br />

subsistence aid to religious sisters in<br />

countries throughout the world so they<br />

can continue to live their vocation<br />

and help keep the faith alive through<br />

their physical and spiritual aid?<br />

To watch a video on Sr Rita and the<br />

Sisters and to make<br />

a donation visit<br />

www.aidtochuch.<br />

org/helpsisters or<br />

scan the QR Code.<br />

Founded in 1947, ACN is the only international<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Charity dedicated to the pastoral<br />

support of suffering and persecuted Christians.

A cuppa with the priest<br />

Fr Vincy D’Costa OFM Cap, Parish Priest<br />

The Good Shepherd, Plumpton<br />


When Fr Vincy D’Costa OFM Cap, Parish Priest of<br />

The Good Shepherd, Plumpton, was growing up<br />

in Goa, India, all he knew about Australia was its<br />

national cricket team. Meanwhile, he had plenty<br />

of time to observe the local Capuchin Franciscan<br />

Friars who were based close to his home, and<br />

was drawn into their simple, welcoming and<br />

dignified approach to life and faith.<br />

It was not until a few weeks before his ordination to<br />

the Capuchins that he would make any connection<br />

between the two. Having been told he would be sent<br />

to Australia from his homeland where he loved the<br />

natural beauty including mountains and beaches, he<br />

slept little that evening.<br />

“I had nightmares,” he said. “I didn’t know anything<br />

about Australia. They had a cricket team that was<br />

going through its ‘golden era’,” he says, but that was<br />

about it.<br />

On arriving in Australia, one of the first events<br />

he was taken to was ‘Theology on Tap’, a talk on<br />

faith held in a pub in Parramatta, a completely<br />

new experience, he admits.<br />

Since then, he’s discovered a lot he likes about<br />

Australia. Starting as Assistant Priest under Fr Gerard<br />

O’Dempsey OFM Cap at The Good Shepherd, he<br />

became Parish Priest only four years later when Fr<br />

Gerard was elected Provincial of the Capuchins.<br />

“I never expected it,” he says of his appointment<br />

which, at 34, made him the youngest Parish Priest in<br />

the Diocese. “I expected my hair would turn grey,” he<br />

laughs, “but five years later, I’m still ok.”<br />

There are a few secrets to his success in ministering<br />

a parish of around 13,000 that sees some Masses<br />

attended by around 600 people, he says.<br />

The parish community<br />

has supported me from the<br />

very beginning,” he says.<br />

“They respect how I run the<br />

parish, allowing them (lay<br />

parishioners) to lead and I<br />

support and guide them.<br />

When asked what this means to parishioners, he<br />

reflects. “They feel it is their parish, they belong. They<br />

are doing things for themselves.”<br />

He is delighted how this plays out in practice as<br />

he tries to follow the example of St Francis of<br />

Assisi. St Francis set the example of ‘poverty of<br />

spirit’ meaning, he explains, letting go of pride and<br />

allowing guidance by the Holy Spirit. While following<br />

this example himself, he also sees it in the Good<br />

Shepherd parishioners. “They come to me with<br />

humility,” he says. “If I see something, I can approach<br />

them and talk to them about it,” he says. “I feel this is<br />

how Christ would have wanted the Church to be,” he<br />

says. “Christ asked us to serve.”<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Fr Vincy D’Costa OFM Cap, Parish Priest of The Good Shepherd, Plumpton<br />

Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

This gentle approach saw the parish stay together<br />

during the pandemic, when there were limitations<br />

on how many people could attend Mass. Along with<br />

livestreaming, they prayed the Rosary of an evening,<br />

allowing everyone to participate and feel like they<br />

belonged, he says.<br />

Fr Vincy’s lifelong love of nature sees him<br />

bushwalking whenever he can in the Blue Mountains.<br />

And it has seen him enthusiastically support the<br />

parishioners who were keen to turn around the<br />

Good Shepherd’s ecological footprint. They have<br />

purchased solar panels and LED lights and are<br />

already seeing big savings. “It’s Pope Francis’<br />

ecological economics in action,” says Fr Vincy. He<br />

recalls that even in his homeland of Goa, the words<br />

of Pope Francis “the cry of the earth” resonated with<br />

him. “I could sense Mother Earth weeping,” he says.<br />

He is thrilled the parish is surrounded by nature, and<br />

that children love to come and discover insects and<br />

wildlife in the parish grounds. At the same time, they<br />

heed “Cry of the Poor” and he is overwhelmed by the<br />

generosity of his parishioners in their support of the<br />

House of Welcome and St Vincent de Paul.<br />

Fr Vincy wants to keep growing the parish and<br />

extending that sense of welcome the Capuchins<br />

extended to him. <br />

Regardless of where they come<br />

from,” he says “All people are<br />

welcome. We always want to<br />

be a welcoming parish.<br />

<br />


The Good Shepherd Church, Plumpton<br />

Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Parish Profile<br />

The Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton<br />


The Good Shepherd is a parish hearing the<br />

cry of the earth and cry of the poor and whose<br />

parishioners are taking action in response.<br />

Patricia (Trish) Pacleb has been a parishioner of The<br />

Good Shepherd Parish, for most of her life. However,<br />

it wasn’t until her experience at the 2019 World Youth<br />

Day in Panama that she felt called to become more<br />

active in the parish community.<br />

“I wanted to keep the WYD spirit strong, and<br />

promised to say ‘yes’ to wherever God wanted to<br />

take me,” she says.<br />

In strengthening her faith and connection to her<br />

parish community, Trish is part of the parish’s Antioch<br />

youth group, and is a former member of the Good<br />

Shepherd Youth Choir.<br />

These are just two of the dozens of active, dedicated<br />

and passionate groups in what is one of the largest<br />

parishes in the Diocese.<br />

In speaking with Trish and a few of her fellow<br />

parishioners, I ask why they think so many other<br />

parishioners have put their hands up to get actively<br />

involved in the parish.<br />

“Being a part of a community that takes care of you give<br />

you a sense of hope, it strengthens you and makes<br />

your relationship with Christ stronger,” Trish says.<br />

“Everyone in the parish is always so welcoming<br />

and encouraging. As long as you have an open<br />

heart and willingness to serve, you will always<br />

find a part in the community.”<br />

Sacramental coordinator Priscilla Corpuz adds,<br />

“Serving our church community is a gift and we need<br />

to share that gift.<br />

“The parish is my spiritual home and the<br />

parishioners, who have become friends, are my<br />

extended family.<br />

“The Good Shepherd is always alive and active<br />

through the dedication and involvement of<br />

each parishioner.”<br />

Another passionate ministry of the parish is the social<br />

justice group, which started three years ago following<br />

the parish’s involvement in the ‘Diocesan Walking<br />

with Refugees’ initiative.<br />


Looking Deeper<br />

Sr Colleen Foley osu has been connected to the<br />

parish since 1991 and has been a social justice<br />

advocate for a similar length of time. She is the selfdescribed<br />

“grandmother” of the social justice group.<br />

“We’re a small group, but whatever we discuss as a<br />

group, we take to [Parish Priest] Fr Vincy [D’Costa]<br />

and the rest of the parish.<br />

“Fr Vincy is very easy to work with. He is open and<br />

willing to engage with the initiatives of the social<br />

justice group. He is very busy with such a large<br />

parish, but makes time to listen.<br />

The social justice group’s latest project is<br />

channelling their Franciscan roots and enacting<br />

Pope Francis’ call to listen to the “cry of the earth”<br />

and the “cry of the poor” .<br />

A few months ago, the parish signed up to the<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare Parishes Program, which<br />

provides assistance for parishes on their journey to<br />

enacting the Laudato Si’ Action Platform’s 7 Goals<br />

for 7 sectors over 7 years and to become a living<br />

Laudato Si’ community.<br />

The parish has started small by opting for<br />

environmentally friendly products including wooden<br />

and paper cutlery in their kitchen, eliminating the<br />

use of single-use plastics as much as possible<br />

and encouraging the children of the parish to<br />

create messages of hope to be displayed during<br />

Season of Creation.<br />

In the future, the parish hopes to begin planting local<br />

species and more trees on church grounds, switching<br />

to a renewable energy provider and committing to<br />

using locally-sourced produce and suppliers.<br />

Anthony Matthews, a parishioner of four years, and<br />

Religious Education Coordinator at St John XXIII<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> College Stanhope Gardens, is one of the<br />

driving factors of the <strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare process.<br />

“When my family moved to Plumpton, through my<br />

social justice involvement in schools, I was able<br />

to connect with an action the parish held through<br />

which I was already connected on a school level,”<br />

he explains.<br />

“From here, I was able to continue to work with and<br />

accompany the social justice team to serve those<br />

most vulnerable.”<br />

Sr Colleen says that the parish has been very<br />

receptive of the changes they are implementing<br />

with the <strong>Catholic</strong> Earthcare plan, saying that even<br />

15-year-olds are coming to the social justice group<br />

full of energy and passion and hoping to make the<br />

world better.<br />

“The young people and children of the parish are<br />

the ones who love this stuff. They’re really aware of<br />

sustainability, which gives me a lot of hope,” she says.<br />

Trish adds, “It is our duty to preserve God’s creation<br />

because it is a gift, worthy of our care and protection.<br />

How we take care of our environment shows how we<br />

value God’s gift.”<br />

When asked what other parishes across the<br />

Diocese can do to be proactive in social justice, the<br />

parishioners recommended by starting small.<br />

“Having the opportunity to listen to stories of the<br />

most vulnerable and asking them what they need<br />

most – this drives your discernment process, and<br />

then action,” Anthony says.<br />

“Mary MacKillop said, ‘never see a need without<br />

doing something about it.’ Let us practise her words<br />

and put it into action,” Priscilla says.<br />

Trish adds, “it only takes one person to say yes to<br />

an opportunity for others to be empowered and be<br />

inspired to take action too. Be that one person to<br />

start the chain reaction.” <br />

(L-R) Parishioners of The Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton, Priscilla Corpuz, Patricia (Trish) Pacleb, Anthony Matthews,<br />

Parish Priest Fr Vincy D’Costa and Sr Colleen Foley osu. Image: Mary Brazell/Diocese of Parramatta<br />


Quest to know sets<br />

a life in motion<br />


If planning her life was up to Dr Anne Benjamin,<br />

an Honorary Professor of Australian <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

University, who has written several books,<br />

travelled the world and worked at senior levels<br />

of education, she thinks it would have turned<br />

out quite uninteresting.<br />

“I find my plans for myself are fairly unimaginative,<br />

and if I had the total say, life would have been quite<br />

dull,” she says.<br />

Dr Anne Benjamin<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

Anne has recently published a book After All<br />

This <strong>Time</strong>: Reflections on Jesus sharing her inner<br />

pilgrimage, an idea that sprang from being on<br />

pilgrimage on the Camino in Spain. In the book<br />

she calls on Gospel readings, deep insights gained<br />

through her many life experiences, and neat<br />

engrossing ‘tankas’ - short poems of precisely chosen<br />

words which set an otherworldly mood. The aim of<br />

the book, she says, is to help people look at Jesus<br />

in a new way and perhaps make connections with<br />

scripture they would not have otherwise have made.<br />

She was a young person when the Second Vatican<br />

Council took place and its message of a church that<br />

is engaged with the world resonated with her. It led<br />

her to travel to the USA to study religious education<br />

– the start of her life’s quest to seek experiences that<br />

enhance her sense of meaning.<br />

Working with her husband in India for a number of<br />

years enriched her with the experience of being “an<br />

unknown” and an “outsider”. “When we returned to<br />

Australia,” she added, “I had a small taste of being a<br />

migrant, which is the experience of many people in<br />

our society.”<br />

For Anne, pilgrimage is “seeking home and coming<br />

together in wholeness”. It helps her understand<br />

and feel closer to the scriptures she has studied to<br />

answer the question: “Who was Jesus?”<br />


Anne’s top tips for pilgrims<br />

A trip to the Holy Land brought her in touch with land<br />

that Jesus would have walked on. “To be in the land<br />

and to be on the soil, to be on the lake and to try and<br />

absorb the feeling of being on the hillside and to be<br />

alone in the desert. That was powerful,” she says.<br />

“You get an immediacy.”<br />

“You think what it would have been like for Christ to<br />

be praying in the desert.“ Later in the discussion, she<br />

returns to the power of the desert, “To me the desert is<br />

an image of searching for God – a place of healing and<br />

redemption. It is a place where you can discover God.”<br />

“Being there awakened in me the need to understand<br />

Jesus better, the need to answer the question “Who<br />

is this Jesus and how did He work out His mission?”<br />

On the Camino, pilgrims walk at their own pace.<br />

You may therefore have several different walking<br />

companions along the way, and need to adjust your<br />

speed. “I thought that was one of the biggest lessons<br />

for me, to walk through life at my own pace,” she says.<br />

“As I walked, I would encounter different people for a<br />

couple of hours. They were wonderful encounters.”<br />

For Anne, Vatican II was life changing, and<br />

encouraged her to seek further formation. She is now<br />

hearted by Pope Francis’ insistence on synodality as<br />

THE way of being church. “Today we are walking a<br />

synodal path – what’s that if not pilgrims searching,<br />

going forward together?” <br />

• Be open to possibilities – there is mystery and<br />

uncertainty in every journey. Without space for<br />

mystery, the search is cut short.<br />

• Come with a mindset that the searching is<br />

more important than the answer.<br />

• Be brave enough to walk alone.<br />

• There is immense freedom in carrying only<br />

what you need on your back.<br />

• Pilgrimages can be done with others –<br />

it doesn’t need to be a lonely journey. Those<br />

with you can help you find gems along the way.<br />

• Keep a journal – you don’t have to write<br />

everything, just whatever you can.<br />

• Read the daily Mass readings – sit with the<br />

readings each day and note the thoughts that<br />

come into your head.<br />

• Invite others to reflect and pray with you –<br />

reflection together creates special bonds.<br />

• Can’t go overseas? Walk where you can –<br />

and be present to your walk.<br />

Dr Anne Benjamin is a parishioner of St Anthony of Padua<br />

Parish Toongabbie. She is a former Executive Director of<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education Diocese of Parramatta, and was one<br />

of the co-creators of the recently launched Biographical<br />

Dictionary of Australian <strong>Catholic</strong> Educators, a website for<br />

researchers and those wanting to learn about <strong>Catholic</strong><br />

education. Her book After All This <strong>Time</strong>: Reflections on<br />

Jesus is available from Coventry Press.<br />

Classifieds<br />

To place your ad in <strong>Catholic</strong> <strong>Outlook</strong> and reach over<br />

8,500 families in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains<br />

contact Christina Gretton at comms@parracatholic.org<br />

Toongabbie Legal Centre provides free legal services to<br />

vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalised persons.<br />


Support<br />

TLC’s 15 th Annual Dinner<br />

& Crowdfunding<br />

Campaign Launch<br />

Saturday 26 November <strong>2022</strong><br />

Blacktown Leisure Centre, Stanhope Gardens<br />

Ticket $100 includes dinner & entertainment –<br />

more details see www.tlc.asn.au<br />

WHAT’S ON<br />


Mondays:<br />

Tuesdays:<br />

Shared reading group<br />

English classes and Crafty Kritters<br />

Wednesdays: English classes and Seniors day activities<br />

Thursdays:<br />

Seniors tech classes<br />


181 Mamre Rd, Orchard Hills<br />

Contact Lisa on (02) 8843 2514 or email lisa.malcher@ccss.org.au

Let us care for those who<br />

have cared for us through<br />

their lifetime of service<br />


As we prepare to celebrate the father figures<br />

in our lives this Father’s Day, the Diocese of<br />

Parramatta’s family of faith is also being urged<br />

to care for our spiritual fathers, priests now<br />

living in retirement after a lifetime of caring<br />

for parish communities.<br />

The Clergy Support Foundation supports the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta’s ageing priests and those<br />

in ill-health, providing the necessary care and<br />

guidance for them to transition to a well-deserved,<br />

spiritually fulfilling retirement.<br />

Diocese of Parramatta’s Head of Clergy Health<br />

and Wellbeing, Dr Mark Buhagiar, is supported<br />

by Clergy Healthcare Coordinators, Elizabeth<br />

Hanrahan and Ellen Small in caring for retired and<br />

ill priests across Western Sydney and the Blue<br />

Mountains.<br />

“As well as supporting our priests’ healthcare and<br />

wellbeing, Mark and his team keep an eye on their<br />

mental health and attend to their practical needs,”<br />

said Fr Wim Hoekstra from the Clergy Support<br />

Foundation.<br />

“This includes important daily tasks like organising<br />

meals, taking them to appointments and making<br />

sure they are taking their medicines. They also put<br />

a lot of care into ensuring that our priests’ social<br />

networks are maintained.”<br />

Other ongoing assistance includes organising<br />

independent retirement living and aged care or<br />

nursing home accommodation.<br />

Mark said the work of the Clergy Support Foundation<br />

recognises the fatherly spiritual and pastoral care<br />

that the Diocese’s priests have given to people for<br />

many decades.<br />

“Our priests have looked after us in parishes for their<br />

whole life, including the important moments such as<br />

Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and<br />

Marriage,” he said.<br />

“So, this is our opportunity, as <strong>Catholic</strong>s and as<br />

parishioners, to show our gratitude and care for<br />

those who have cared for us, when they need us.<br />

This speaks very strongly to me and it’s why I love<br />

what I do.”<br />

Retired priests, Monsignor John Boyle and Fr Chris<br />

Dixon now live in accommodation set up by Diocese<br />

of Parramatta’s Clergy Support Foundation.<br />

Mons John said he is deeply grateful for the care<br />

being bestowed on him in his retirement, thanks to<br />

the support of the Diocesan community.<br />

“It brings out a huge sense of gratitude in me, that<br />

we’re able to live in this comfortable place, and have<br />

people who come to make sure we’re safe and well,”<br />

he said.<br />

Fr Chris agreed, saying he recognises the support of<br />

so many for the Clergy Support Foundation:<br />

It’s a joy to be able to<br />

retire and to live as we do.<br />

It’s quite a privilege.<br />


Fr Chris Dixon (left) with Clergy Healthcare Coordinator Ellen Small and Monsignor John Boyle. Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

I’m deeply thankful for the<br />

generosity of the people<br />

in our Diocese.<br />

Another big aspect of the Clergy Support<br />

Foundation’s work is making sure the Diocese’s<br />

retired priests stay involved in parish life.<br />

Both Mons John and Fr Chris are still very active in<br />

the Diocesan community, celebrating Mass most<br />

weekends and stepping in when priests go on leave.<br />

“I’m regularly invited out to dinner by my former<br />

parishioners,” said Mons John.<br />

“They’re keen to look after me. I feel like I’m still<br />

in their community even though I’m no longer<br />

there 24/7.”<br />

For Fr Chris, it’s providing ongoing spiritual guidance<br />

and sharing the faith, that he finds to be life-giving.<br />

“The privilege of being able to tell people your own<br />

experience of getting to know Jesus, that, to me, is<br />

sharing something sacred and wonderful.”<br />

The Clergy Support Foundation’s Father’s Day<br />

Appeal is an opportunity to care for the priests who<br />

have cared for us all through a lifetime of service to<br />

our faith community. <br />

To donate, please call<br />

(02) 8838 3482 or visit<br />

parracatholic.org/<br />

fathersdayappealcsf<br />


Play it<br />

Check out our latest spirit-filled recommendations to<br />

add to your daily mix!<br />

Watch, Listen<br />

Read, Think<br />

Books, movies, music<br />

and more for <strong>Spring</strong><br />

Há Pressa No Ar<br />

the official World Youth Day 2023 theme song<br />

Receive the Power<br />

(Sydney WYD 2008 theme song)<br />

by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto<br />

Every Little Thing<br />

Hillsong Young & Free<br />

Garden<br />

Matt Maher<br />

Soul on Fire<br />

Third Day<br />

Welcome Here<br />

by Fr Rob Galea featuring Michela<br />

Watch it<br />

St Francis of Assisi: Sign of Contradiction<br />

With his feast day on 4 October, here’s a movie that<br />

explores more than just St Francis of Assisi’s faith<br />

and appreciation of creation. This film is about a<br />

sinner and a saint who was on a lifelong journey<br />

animated by grace. St Francis of Assisi was a real<br />

person with real struggles, temptations, and doubts.<br />

He was a disciple, perhaps, the greatest disciple.<br />

Francis is known as a lover of peace and of<br />

nature, and this is true. But he also went against<br />

all social norms. All that the world said would lead<br />

to happiness, he abandoned for something else,<br />

something more. It wasn’t until he encountered<br />

Christ that darkness and confusion were replaced<br />

with light and peace.<br />

His life was marked by an unwavering openness to<br />

the Holy Spirit and a deep call to live penance.<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

Watch it on Amazon Prime or the subscription<br />

service 4pmmedia.com<br />


Read it<br />

A Wide and Open Land – Walking the Last of<br />

Western Sydney’s Woodlands<br />

By Peter Ridgeway<br />

This Season of Creation, find out about the hidden beauty<br />

and fragility of the lands on which our Diocese sits. In<br />

the Winter of 2019, Peter Ridgeway set out to walk 179<br />

kilometres across the Cumberland Plain, the region<br />

of rural land west of Sydney, and home to the Darug,<br />

Gundungurra and Dharawal people. Carrying his food and<br />

water and camping under the stars, he crossed one of the<br />

least-known landscapes in Australia, all within view of its<br />

largest city. This book recounts a unique journey across a<br />

landscape few Australians will ever see.<br />

Peter shares many wonderful places across Western<br />

Sydney including Wivenhoe at Camden, conserved by the<br />

wisdom of the wonderful Good Samaritan congregation.<br />

This book provides an immersion in the history, wildlife,<br />

and culture of one of Australia's most rapidly vanishing<br />

landscapes, and reveals how the destruction of 'the West'<br />

is erasing not only itself, but something central to the<br />

identity of all Australians.<br />

Image: Supplied<br />

A Wide and Open Land – Walking the Last of<br />

Western Sydney’s Woodlands<br />

By Peter Ridgeway<br />

Published by Peter Ridgeway April <strong>2022</strong><br />

ISBN : 9780645308914<br />

Listen in<br />

Little Green Pod with Fiona Poole ABC Listen App<br />

Little Green Pod is a podcast for busy people who know<br />

they could do more to help protect the world and save the<br />

environment. Join mother-of-two Fi Poole on her quest to<br />

find quick and easy ways to live a little greener in these<br />

bite-sized episodes.<br />

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/little-green-pod<br />

The Average Shepherd<br />

A weekly homily podcast dedicated to opening, exploring,<br />

and living the Word of God, produced by young priest<br />

Fr Sam French from the Diocese of Broken Bay.<br />

Apple/Spotify/Google Podcasts<br />

Images: From podcasts<br />



Design a border around this prayer<br />

using nature as inspiration.<br />

Cut it out, stick on recycled<br />

cardboard and hang it up.<br />

Dear God,<br />

you are in the<br />

whole universe and<br />

in every tiny creature.<br />

Help us protect your world,<br />

which gives us life.<br />

Thank you God for being<br />

with us each day.<br />

Amen.<br />

These activities are from our catechists in the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta. Melissa McDonald,<br />

Regional Catechist Coordinator for the Blue<br />

Mountains, says that looking after God's creation<br />

often comes naturally to children and they love<br />

talking about the topic.<br />

To find out more about becoming a<br />

catechist in the public schools in the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta contact Maree at<br />

maree.collis@parracatholic.org<br />

Prayer adapted from Pope Francis'<br />

Prayer for the Earth.<br />

Images: Shutterstock



Using the clues below, complete the words going across.<br />

The answer will be revealed in the blue boxes running down the page.<br />

1. First words of the the Bible : In _ _ _ beginning when God created the<br />

heavens and the earth<br />

2. The third person of the Trinity who is present in all Creation. H_ _ _ S_ _ _ _ _<br />

3. The name of our planet _ _ _ _ _<br />

4. I became man to show God's endless love for all his creatures _ _ _ _ _<br />

5. The Latin name of the Pope's letter to everyone on Earth aboutcaring for our<br />

common home. L_ _ _ _ _ _ S_<br />

6. Instead of throwing paper products away we should _ _ _ _ _ _ _ them.<br />

7. Too often we W_ _ _ _ resources instead of using less, reusing and recycling.<br />

14<br />

7<br />

8<br />

17<br />

22<br />

23<br />

4<br />

5<br />

10<br />

11<br />

15<br />

18<br />

20<br />

21<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

6<br />

9<br />

12<br />

13<br />

16<br />

19<br />

8. In theLord's prayer we call God<br />

'Our F_ _ _ _ _ '<br />

9. In the Bible Creation story we<br />

see that people are made in<br />

God's _ m _ g _<br />

10. From the Lord's prayer: "Thy<br />

kingdom come, thy will be done<br />

on Earth as it _ _ in heaven.<br />

11. When we burn fossil fuels it<br />

causes air p_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ which<br />

contributes toclimate change.<br />

12. It is up to all of _ _ to work<br />

together to look after the Earth.<br />

13. At Easter we celebrate that Jesus<br />

has r_ _ _ _ from the dead.<br />

14. Pope _ _ _ _ _ _ _ took the name<br />

of this saint, the patron saint of<br />

animals and the environment.<br />

15. In the Bible story, after creating<br />

all things, God looks at it and<br />

sees that it is all very G_ _ _ _<br />

16. This lights up our night sky and in<br />

his poem 'Canticle of Creation' Saint<br />

Francis called it our sister _ _ _ _<br />

17. C_ _ _ _ _ _ C_ _ _ _ _: Pope<br />

Franciscalls this "one of the<br />

principle challenges facing<br />

humanity in our day" (LS25)<br />

18. The Pope calls for an Ecological<br />

C_nv_rs_ _n. This means<br />

changing our ways and taking<br />

better care of the Earth.<br />

19. One important way to feel<br />

God's presence is to spend<br />

time outdoors in n_ _ _ _ _.<br />

20. Jesus says "I am the Good<br />

S_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _" who loves<br />

and cares for his sheep.<br />

21. "Climate change affects us all but<br />

it is the P_ _ _ _ _communities<br />

that will suffer the most."<br />

22. We are called to live s_ _ _ply<br />

and not take more than we need<br />

of the Earth's resources.<br />

23. Caring for the Earth, wasting less<br />

and consuming less is being a<br />

good st_ _ _ _ _ _ of the Earth.<br />


Directory of services<br />

(02) 8843 2500 or visit catholiccarewsbm.org.au<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 />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Education<br />

Diocese of Parramatta<br />

parra.catholic.edu.au<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 />

www.cdpsl.org.au<br />

Ambrose Early Years Education<br />

and School Age Care<br />

(02) 9407 7044<br />

enquiries@ambrose.org.au<br />

www.ambrose.org.au<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Care Western Sydney<br />

and the Blue Mountains<br />

(02) 8843 2500<br />

catholiccarewsbm.org.au<br />

Mission Enhancement Team<br />

(MET Parramatta)<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Youth Parramatta<br />

Marriage, Family and Natural Fertility<br />

Pastoral Formation<br />

Peace, Justice and Ecology<br />

Worship<br />

met@parracatholic.org<br />

parracatholic.org/met<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 />

Ageing Well<br />

Whatever your age, you will never be invisible to the people at <strong>Catholic</strong> Care. Our range of<br />

supports aim to keep you living independently in your own home for as long as possible,<br />

while staying connected with your friends and community.<br />

Our Commonwealth Home Support Program support elderly people to stay living<br />

independently at home, while our Community Visitor’s Scheme aims to reduce loneliness<br />

and enrich people’s lives through fortnightly visits to residents at aged-care facilities.<br />

Bringing a baby into the world<br />

There are few things more important than caring for a newborn child. Our programs have helped<br />

many young women who are feeling lost or have been excluded from their community and are<br />

at risk of homelessness, to get the support they need. Our parenting support program supports<br />

new parents finding the challenges of a newborn overwhelming.<br />

Chaplaincy<br />

Our chaplains provide spiritual and emotional support for patients and inmates, their<br />

families and staff in the seven hospitals and three correctional centres throughout the<br />

Diocese of Parramatta. An inclusive ministry available to all faiths, our 15 chaplains work<br />

alongside others involved in the care of patients and inmates.<br />

Children<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Care offers a range of support services to ensure children are taken care of in any<br />

situation. It starts with early years learning and childcare — our home-based early learning and<br />

parenting program for families with young children helps them and their parents develop skills,<br />

and our family day care helps kids get a good start with their education. Our creche is a thriving<br />

early learning centre, providing care for children of Sudanese refugee women enrolled in English<br />

classes offered on the grounds of <strong>Catholic</strong> Care.<br />

Connecting with my Community<br />

Our drop-in centres provide a safe place for people to belong and connect with others.<br />

They are a place to be, a place to get information, join a group, and be accepted.<br />

In Emerton, Aboriginal <strong>Catholic</strong> Services is a drop-in centre led by Aboriginal people for<br />

Aboriginal people. In Blacktown, culturally and linguistically diverse families are accessing<br />

support to settle into life in Australia by the team at All Saints of Africa. And at our <strong>Spring</strong>wood<br />

Drop-in Centre, established to support the community after the 2014 bushfires, clients stop by<br />

for a chat, join a reading group or seek support with their mental health.<br />

Living well with Disability<br />

We all need a support network to live our lives to the fullest. Our disability support team, can<br />

help you with living, learning and overcoming obstacles on your journey, whatever they may<br />

look like. We can help you set goals, and achieve them, and help you build a brighter future.<br />

As a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider, we support clients<br />

at home and in the community, whether you want to learn how to cook, need support with<br />

personal care, or want to play sport.<br />

Support for my Family<br />

When life gets tough for our families, the people we care about most can suffer. Our range<br />

of family support services can support you to better relate to your spouse and understand<br />

their behaviour, to deal with dependence or gambling problems, single parenting, or just<br />

connecting with your kids.<br />

We support families who are going through the most difficult of times to cope through<br />

separation, and with grief and loss. We help parents deal with all the stresses that can<br />

impact your family, from anxiety and depression to money worries, gambling—we have the<br />

people, the resources and the support to help you make it through.<br />


Latest appointments<br />

Most Rev Vincent Long OFM<br />

Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, has<br />

confirmed these appointments in<br />

the Diocese of Parramatta:<br />

Deacon Jack Elkazzi<br />

Deacon Assisting<br />

St Bernadette’s Parish<br />

Castle Hill, from 25 July <strong>2022</strong><br />

Fr Paul Gurr OCarm<br />

Part-time Assistant Priest<br />

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish<br />

Wentworthville, from 27 July <strong>2022</strong><br />

Bishop Vincent (centre) with recipients of the Diocesan Awards, presented on 8 August <strong>2022</strong>. Image: Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Diocesan Award Recipients <strong>2022</strong><br />

On the feast of St Mary MacKillop, 8 August <strong>2022</strong>, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, presented the<br />

following members of our faith community with Diocesan Awards at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta.<br />

Diocesan Medal of Honour<br />

Sylvia Belsey, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville<br />

Juan Caceres, St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith<br />

Vincent Connelly, St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill<br />

Joseph Doyle, St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong<br />

Enrico Enriquez, St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong<br />

James Eves, Mary Immaculate Parish, Quakers Hill-Schofields<br />

Maureen Fearnside, St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill<br />

Annette Hartman, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta<br />

Norman Heffernan, St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith<br />

Roderick Hilliker, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta<br />

Dudley Littlewood, Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair-Erskine Park<br />

Deirdre Said, Diocese Development Fund, Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Helen Steyns, Diocese Development Fund, Diocese of Parramatta<br />

Annette Tan, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville<br />

Citation of Merit for Youth<br />

Mindy Mercado, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta<br />

Patrice Moriarty, Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair-Erskine Park<br />

We congratulate all our recipients and thank them for<br />

their dedicated service to our faith community.<br />

You can read more about them at<br />




The parish of St Aidan’s Rooty Hill is undergoing a church extension and renovation project. The building works include an extension to<br />

the church foyer, installation of external sunshades, recarpeting the church and refurbishment of the sanctuary including the installation<br />

of a baldacchino. The foyer extension is to accommodate the increasing number of parishioners attending St Aidan’s - the flow-on<br />

effect of the rapid development of the suburb of Rooty Hill. However, projects aren’t always smooth sailing; building works were halted,<br />

parishioner numbers fell, and costs rose rapidly due to the impact of the pandemic. “Hopefully, the Parish will be able to complete the<br />

project in the near future,” said Fr Alan Layt, Parish Priest of St Aidan’s.<br />

The DDF provided finance for the project which was flexible enough to support the changing needs of the parish as the project<br />

unfolded and moved to completion.<br />

The Diocesan Development Fund (DDF) provides financial services that helps to promote the continued growth and development of a<br />

vibrant and evangelising <strong>Catholic</strong> Church in the Diocese of Parramatta.<br />

The DDF’s services include:<br />

• Providing loans to assist <strong>Catholic</strong> agencies to further their Mission. Loans are available for any worthwhile purpose including<br />

construction, renovation, land purchase, furnishings, and equipment.<br />

• Facilitating transactional services to <strong>Catholic</strong> agencies such as parishes and schools.<br />

• Operating efficiently to generate income for the Diocese to support the Mission of the Church, pastoral priorities, and ministry<br />

programmes.<br />

• The development of deep long-term relationships with all <strong>Catholic</strong> entities within the Diocese.<br />

To contact the DDF please phone (02) 8839 4500 or email enquiries@parraddf.org.au<br />

Visit the DDF website at www.parracatholic.org.au/ddf<br />

Disclosure Statement The Diocesan Development Fund <strong>Catholic</strong> Diocese of Parramatta (DDF) (the Fund) is required by law to make the following disclosure.<br />

The Fund is not prudentially supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority nor has it been examined or approved by the Australian Securities<br />

and Investments Commission. An investor in the Fund will not receive the benefit of the financial claims scheme or thedepositor protection provisions in the<br />

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<br />

<strong>Catholic</strong> Diocese of Parramatta and for whom the consideration of profit are not of primary relevance in the investment decision. The investments that the<br />

Fund offers are not subject to the usual protections for investors under the Corporations Act (Cth) or regulation by Australian Securities and Investments<br />

Commission. Investors may be unable to get some or all of their money back when the investor expects or at all and an of the Fund are not comparable to<br />

investments with banks, finance companies or fund managers. The Fund’s identification statement may be viewed at https://parracatholic.org or by contacting<br />

the Fund. The Fund does not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence.

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!