Lo Staff del Forum dichiara la propria fedeltà al Magistero. Se, per qualche svista o disattenzione, dovessimo incorrere in qualche errore o inesattezza, accettiamo fin da ora, con filiale ubbidienza, quanto la Santa Chiesa giudica e insegna. Le affermazioni dei singoli forumisti non rappresentano in alcun modo la posizione del forum, e quindi dello Staff, che ospita tutti gli interventi non esplicitamente contrari al Regolamento di CR (dalla Magna Charta). O Maria concepita senza peccato prega per noi che ricorriamo a Te.
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Discussione: Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Australia

  1. #291
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    Inclusion and sustainability for the common good

    The story of Jesus does not relate to awards or grades of pay, to bonuses or penalties; it relates to a ‘living wage’ – what a person needs in order to live with dignity in society, writes CRA President Sister Ruth Durick osu.

    On 7th September, a number of people attended the launch of the 2017 Social Justice Statement at Mary MacKillop Place North Sydney: Everyone’s Business: developing an inclusive and sustainable economy. The statement was jointly launched by Susan Pascoe, inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, and Fr Frank Brennan SJ, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia. We were reminded of the cogent link between this statement and that of 25 years ago: Common Wealth for the Common Good.

    The very counter cultural gospel of the workers in the vineyard forms the basis for this statement. In our world, it is incomprehensible that a person coming at the late hour of afternoon and beginning work would be paid the same as one who had been working since early morning. The story of Jesus does not relate to awards or grades of pay, to bonuses or penalties. It relates to a ‘living wage’ – what a person needed in order to live with dignity in the society of the day.

    The statement outlines some bald facts about our own economy and highlights issues such as the insecurity of many in the workforce; the merciless crackdown on welfare recipients; the homelessness crisis in a country where those who have more property continue to gain advantage over those who have none. The plight of our indigenous sisters and brothers is highlighted – in a highly-developed country we have parts of our country with health statistics which are worse than some of the poorest countries in the world. Everyone’s Business gives a concise outline of relevant church teaching on the economy from Pope Leo Xlll in Rerum Novarum up to Francis’ call to rethink the outdated criteria which rule the world economies. The document also outlines five fundamental criticisms of the current economic system and some key principles central to the development of an inclusive economy.

    The principles set forth, while applying in this instance to the economic world, cannot be siloed in this way. They are principles which could, should, govern the movement towards an inclusive culture in any organisation:


    • People and nature are not mere tools of production – all deserve recognition as people of dignity, as does our earth which is gift and requires our good stewardship.
    • Economic growth alone cannot ensure inclusive and sustainable development – what are our determinants of success and growth? Are we only interested in numbers, whether they be dollar values or numbers of people?
    • Social equity must be built into the heart of the economy – how do we welcome diversity in our communities, in our families, at our table? Are we willing to wash the feet of any and all?
    • Businesses must benefit all society, not just shareholders – if we have shares in a business how constructive are we in engaging in the ethics of that business? In helping to maintain a common wealth for the common good platform? Are we tempted to seek advancement, self-serving promotions above others?
    • The excluded and vulnerable must be included in decision-making – marginal people will not come to what they see as the centres of power; how can we reach out, sit with, be with people on the margins and learn from them so that our society might become more inclusive.


    In the last few weeks we have seen two very different sides of a policy which spends considerable amounts of tax payers’ money in keeping people, who are already on the edge in so many ways, from staying in our country. We have witnessed the inhumane face of the minister for Immigration and Border protection as he refuses to be swayed on his decision regarding asylum seekers already in the country. On the other hand, we have seen the resilience of many agencies in our community who are giving their all, in order to advocate for these people. Edmund Rice Centre and Jesuit Refugee Services have combined with the House of Welcome and the Asylum Seeker Centre to provide services for these people. They have been generously supported by many religious institutes in their work. Let us pray for a bolt of compassion and a movement of the heart of our government to let them stay.

    Special note on Pathways eNewsletter:


    This month's edition of Pathways is the last edition that Giselle Lapitan will be producing. Giselle has moved to ACU in a full-time capacity and we are very grateful to her for bridging the gap left by her departure. Giselle has made a wonderful contribution to the media and communications of Catholic Religious Australia and we thank her sincerely for her professionalism, creativity and generosity. Our best wishes go with Giselle.

    Pathways will take a short break as we reshape our media and communications at Catholic Religious Australia. We look forward to communicating with you all soon about our future plans.

    president@catholicreligiousaustralia.org .au






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  2. #292
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    ‘Multifaith Statement’ on assisted dying delivered to Deputy Premier

    Media and Communications Office

    Today, representatives of Victoria’s leading religions gathered on the steps of Parliament to deliver a joint statement to Deputy Premier, James Merlino, regarding the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

    The ‘Multifaith Statement’ is signed by Sheikh Isse Abdo Musse (President, Board of Imams Victoria), Phra Khru Kampee-panya-withet (Abbot, Melbourne Thai Buddhist Temple), Makarand Bhagwat (Victorian Director, Hindu Council of Australia), Rabbi Daniel Rabin (President, Rabbinical Council of Victoria), Jasbir Singh Suropada (Chairman, Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria) and Bishop Peter Danaher (President, Victorian Council of Churches).

    Kawalpreet Singh, from the Sikh Interfaith Council of Victoria, stood next to the Deputy Premier as he read the statement before the faith representatives each said their names in support of the shared announcement.

    Asking the Parliament to reject the proposed assisted dying legislation, the statement highlighted the shared beliefs of the religious leaders.

    ‘We are of different faiths but, in our diverse communities, we believe in compassion,’ read Mr Singh. ‘Compassion is best addressed to the alleviation of suffering and the care for life, which our traditions deem precious.

    ‘We are concerned that deliberate interventions to end life tear at the fabric of our society.

    ‘We urge, for the good of the entire community, that the Government extend access to palliative care to all Victorians who need it.’

    Mr Merlino, who has publicly expressed his opposition to the Bill, commended the solidarity of the multi-faith gathering and said it was important to consider their perspective.

    ‘For the different faith communities to come together in such a strong way is unprecedented,’ said the Deputy Premier, ‘I will make sure that all my colleagues in Parliament are aware.’



    Makarand Bhagwat, from the Hindu Council of Australia, also pointed to the clear accord between the religious leaders, echoing Mr Merlino’s sentiments.

    ‘All of us coming together here is an extraordinary thing. It demonstrates to the Parliament that we are all together especially on the matter of such sensitive issues.’

    ‘I’m here today to be with colleagues and people of other faiths to together witness our misgivings and our unhappiness with this proposed legislation,’ explained the Victorian Council of Churches’ signatory, Bishop Peter Danaher. ‘We need to focus far more on palliative care and the care of all those who are facing the final parts of their life.’

    Executive Officer of the Ecumenical Interfaith Commission, David Schütz, said that although joint religious action was infrequent, the united display underlined the importance of the issue and the mutual respect that exists between Victoria’s religious communities.

    ‘This Bill, while attempting to uphold that dignity through enabling personal autonomy, actually greatly endangers the security and care of the many for the sake of a few,’ he said. ‘This group represents the result of a lot of dialogue and hard work.’

    ‘So we have been discussing, drinking tea and eating cake together for a long time in order to prepare for this day,’ added Mr Schütz.

    The full statement is available here.


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  3. #293
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    $60m and out for Church aid leader


    Debbie and Phillip Collignon (The Catholic Weekly/Giovanni Portelli)

    He’s the $60 million man – literally. Over nearly three decades, Sydney man Phillip Collignon has raised more than $60 million in aid of poor and persecuted Christians around the world, The Catholic Weekly reports.

    Mr Collignon is retiring at the end of this year after 27 years as national director of the Australian branch of Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and the search is on for a successor.

    Although reluctant to talk about his achievement of raising $60 million during his time with ACN, he admitted that when he first started with the organisation he never imagined such a thing would be possible.

    Deflecting the achievement to others, he described ACN’s benefactors as “quite extraordinary... We’ve got a very loyal benefactor base. Last year they contributed over $5 million”.

    For Mr Collignon, ACN has been very much a family affair. Both his father and his sister were directors of its Australian office before him. His wife Debbie is also office manager at their Annangrove office.

    On the day Mr Collignon had his job interview with ACN in 1989, newspaper headlines were announcing the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany.

    “That was providential, I think,” he said. “My career really started with the collapse of the Berlin Wall.”

    Stepping into the role in February 1990, was “an intense learning curve” he said. “They were the heady days of the collapse of Communism and all our efforts to try to resurrect the Church in all those Eastern bloc countries.”

    He said ACN’s current campaign in support of Iraqi and Syrian Christians who wish to return to their homelands following the demise of ISIS is “the biggest campaign ACN has ever funded”.

    It is a “mammoth task” he says, with about $250 million needed to rebuild destroyed homes and churches.

    From the beginning of the genocide of Christians in Iraq and Syria, ACN were on the ground assisting fleeing Christians.

    “Without ACN and a number of other Christian groups those displaced people would not have survived,” he said. “The world did not come to their aid.”

    Details: www.aidtochurch.org

    FULL STORY

    Sydney’s $60 million man says farewell
    (The Catholic Weekly)



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  4. #294
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    Sr Leone Wittmack: A fortunate ministry in the Top End

    The Northern Territory is an area of Australia where the Sisters of Charity have not had a permanent presence in the past. However, as with a number of our Sisters’ current ministries, the efforts of Sister Leone Wittmack rsc show that the spirit of Mary Aikenhead is very much alive.

    Her ministry in the Northern Territory certainly reflects the latest Chapter Statement as it allows the Sisters of Charity of Australia to live the joy of the Gospel with all its challenges, going out to the margins of Australia in some of the remotest areas of the country to walk in partnership with the people there and offering much-needed services.


    Currently General Manager for Mission and Culture for CatholicCare in the Northern Territory, Sr Leone has had a long and distinguished career in health in Australia.

    Trained at St Vincent’s in Toowoomba, she has worked in Rwanda, Cambodia,Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea, and was the National Director of Mission at St Vincent’s Health Australia for nine years.

    In 2013, she was named Executive Director of Catholic Religious Australia. During this time she went on a journey of spiritual renewal which saw her walking the pilgrims’s way, el camino de Santiago to Campostela. “It was a wonderful experience. Fantastic. I walked 800 kilometres through Spain and it allowed me take a good look at myself and I had to ask myself why I was getting blisters. It was all the stones – literal and figurative – in my shoes. By the end of the pilgrimage the blisters had gone and so were the stones.

    “I had just come back from that experience, and saw an ad for this mission role in CatholicCare NT. I applied, and was fortunate enough to be offered it.”

    In February 2015, Sr Leone began her ministry with CatholicCare NT, a not-for-profit organisation providing counselling and other support services and programs to individuals, couples, families, children groups, schools, and agencies across the Northern Territory. These services include the provision of safe houses in some of the remote communities. Funding for these services is provided by both the Australian and Northern Territory governments. CatholicCare NT is a ministry of the Diocese of Darwin which covers 1.35 million square kms.

    Sr Leone’s role at CatholicCare NT is General Manager for Mission and Culture, and while she is a member of the executive team, this allows her to work closely with staff, travelling to all areas where CatholicCare NT conducts its services.

    “My immediate impression of Darwin and the Northern Territory? It was bit of a learning curve. It’s clearly not like working for a health service with 16,000 staff and lots of resources. This is such a vast area, which ranges from the Tiwi islands in the north to the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) lands in the south. And there are not many people to cover the area.”

    The main offices of CatholicCare are located in Darwin, Palmerston, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs. From these centres services extend to Wadeye (Port Keats), Nauiyu (Daly River), Bathurst and Melville Islands, Santa Teresa, Titjikala, Finke, Maningrida (West Arnhem Land) and Jabiru.

    Despite the scale of the NT and the limited resources of CatholicCare NT, Sr Leone was grateful to have landed her role. “I had always wanted to work in the NT, and I had also had the urge to go back overseas and work in a developing country. As an Australian, it is a terrible thing to have to admit, but working up here with some of the most disadvantaged people is not much different to working in a developing country. Unfortunately,you don’t have to leave Australia!”

    Working in the Northern Territory is very different to working in our other States and there was a lot to take into account. “One of my first learnings was that I had to be flexible enough to use my knowledge and experience in a way which serves and supports the people here. To do this I also took a lot of advice from our Aboriginal staff who are our cultural educators and I continue to work very closely with them.”

    Understanding difference in theory is one thing. Living that understanding is another. “It is really important that all of our new staff are inducted in cultural awareness for the area of the NT in which they are working. To do this our Cultural Educators have developed a cultural awareness program. This team of cultural educators come from all the areas where CatholicCare NT provides its services so they are able to provide the correct information to our new staff. There are at least 40 different cultural and language groups in the NT, so one size doesn’t fit all. This was highlighted this year during NAIDOC Week when the theme was ‘Our Language Matters.’ It is the richness of all these cultural differences that I love so much.”

    When she started, 30 per cent of staff were from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. That is a figure CatholicCare NT is actively working to improve so that the number reaches 40 per cent in the next couple of years. Various practical steps have been taken to help realise that goal.

    “We developed a reconciliation action plan launched 2016; an Aboriginal man is now on the executive. He is responsible for our workforce development strategy with a particular focus on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, and in the last couple of months we have employed an Aboriginal woman as our Regional manager for our programs in the top end.

    New and Current Ministry in the NT

    CatholicCare now employs more than 200 people, and Sr Leone is responsible for ensuring that the vision, mission, and values are integrated into all areas of the service.

    She works closely with CatholicCare NT’s Human Resource team and the Communication and Media staff member. She also provides support for the director and other members of the executive and last year developed a Mission and Values Integration Framework. “One of the most fulfilling aspects of my ministry is meeting and working with all the staff in the numerous urban and remote localities in which CatholicCare delivers its services,” she said.

    “Inducting new staff in mission and values provides a great opportunity to meet all the staff on a one to one basis and enables me to form good supportive relationships. I am involved in delivering the orientation programs and providing reflection and mission development to the managers.”

    The mission, vision and values of CatholicCare NT are founded on Catholic social teaching which calls this Catholic social service to strengthen individuals, families and communities in ways that respect their dignity and culture. CatholicCare is committed to promoting justice and inclusion, caring for the most vulnerable while working for the common good. All this is very evident in the work of CatholicCare.

    “Getting to all of the areas can be quite a challenge especially in the wet season, travelling by air, road and, in some cases, the staff have to travel by boat. However, the effort is well and truly worth it as working with and getting to know these very committed staff, who do a wonderful job walking alongside and working with very vulnerable people in quite difficult circumstances is an absolute privilege. They are an inspiration and provide me with the encouragement I need to do my ministry.”

    “Working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff is also a wonderful experience. Being open to the learnings that they bring only contributes to a person’s growth. It is an opportunity to learn from each other,” Sr Leone said.

    “Last year during NAIDOC week, CatholicCare NT launched its Reconciliation Action Plan which was a great occasion. As the services stretch over most of the Northern Territory, there is a great opportunity to work closely with First Australians not only to provide quality social services but also to create meaningful business partnerships with many Aboriginal groups.

    “This year during NAIDOC we presented some of our staff with our inaugural CatholicCare NT Director Naidoc Awards. This was a fantasic celebration as our Aboriginal staff were given Certificates for Cultural Leadership with special awards being given for Caring for Country, Our Language Matters, Emerging Leader and Team Award,” she said.

    “Reconciliation Week provides another opportunity for CatholicCare to celebrate. This takes on different celebrations depending on the area. In Darwin last year the celebration included inviting the Larrakia Elders, and members of the Stolen Generations to join us and share their stories. Some of our staff are the children of these wonderful Elders and so this opportunity wasof special and significant importance for everyone.

    “This Ministry continues to unfold for me every day and I love the challenges it brings.”, said Sr Leone said.

    If you would like to know more about the Mission of CatholicCare NT you can visit www.catholiccarent.org.au

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  5. #295
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    Wake up, Australia: many people need our aid urgently.

    Bruce Duncan.


    Medical staff examine a child for signs of malnourishment in DRC. UK Department for International Development. flickr cc.


    Foreign aid is not just a matter of offering charity to people in need overseas. It is very important for our own security and development as a nation. Particularly is this so when climate change is rewriting the rules on how the whole weather system works. The historically unprecedented hurricane and flooding in USA and the Caribbean not only cost lives and astonishing property losses, but they weaken the US economy, and may well affect social and political cohesion.

    Nearer to home, consider the widespread flooding in South Asia, with significant loss of life, widespread damage to crops and food production, and the dislocation of millions of people. News reports claimed up to two-thirds of Bangladesh was under water.

    Such catastrophes are far beyond normal, and likely result from climate change. But consider how the world will cope with such events in the future, with forced migration of very large numbers of people, disruptions to food security, and political breakdown.

    To help prevent such widespread distress, the United Nations has been promoting its Sustainable Development Goals to coordinate national and global efforts in alleviating poverty and hunger, and lifting living standards for the most needy people. Each country must be involved in its own heavy lifting, but the international community also needs to help.

    Australia: a ‘leaner’ in development issues
    Yet we in Australia have over recent years been cutting our aid efforts repeatedly. Since 2007, it was bipartisan policy in Australia to lift Australia’s overseas aid to 0.7% by 2015 of Gross National Income. Australia agreed to support the target, originally set by the United Nations in the early 1970s.

    Other countries have already reached this target, the United Kingdom committing £12 billion annually, despite its economic woes. The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams called this a ‘badge of honour’ for Britain. Other OECD countries which met or exceeded their 0.7% target in 2015 were the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, and Sweden.


    The Australian budget set a target in 2013 to reach 0.5% of GNI by 2017, but alas this fell for 2016-17 to 0.22% GNI – $3.8 billion instead of the hoped for $7 billion – a third less in real terms than the $5.1 billion spent in 2012-13. Australia’s aid is expected to increase slightly in absolute terms to $3.9 billion, but to decline below 0.22% in 2017-18, its lowest level ever at 0.84% of federal government spending.

    As the Australian Council for International Development observed, almost $1 billion was cut from the aid budget in 2015-16, and a further $2.7 billion for 2016-17 and 2017-18.

    In May this year, the Turnbull government announced it would take another $300 million from foreign aid by introducing a temporary freeze from mid-2018, when it would be $4.1 billion, and not be indexed until 2021-2022.

    Since the government came to office in 2013, church leaders lamented last year that the Coalition government has cut $11 billion from its aid budget.

    To make matters worse, Australia’s highly regarded aid agency, the independent statuary body AusAid, was abruptly subsumed by the Abbott government in November 2013 into the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, and its priorities reoriented towards promoting private enterprise and trade, resulting in a loss of transparency, and 500 experienced redundancies. The change was directed to prioritise Australian national interests over humanitarian concerns.

    In the late 1960s under Prime Ministers Holt, McEwan, and Gorton in 1967-68, Australian overseas aid was much higher than at present, reaching 0.48% GNI, and 0.47% of GNI in 1974-75. As Robin Davies wrote in The Conversation in January 2017, aid generosity under Menzies was twice as high as now, even though per capita income at that time was less than half its current level.

    Shrinking our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals


    Sustainable Development Goal #2: Zero Hunger. Asian Development Bank. flickr cc.


    The Australian Head of Advocacy for Caritas Negaya Chorley lamented in May that Australia’s continually slashing overseas aid undermines global efforts to reduce hunger and poverty and promote the social and political objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals. Australia is reneging on its commitment to support the 2030 Agenda of the UN to deal with the effects of climate change and reduce global inequality. These goals are absolutely vital if the world is to avoid the worst outcomes of global warming.

    As Chorley said, if we want a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to invest in what makes for peace: “health, education, sustainable livelihoods, women’s rights, climate action, and strong governance”. Otherwise, we are going to face increased international conflict, rivalry for resources, and mass migration of peoples.

    Meanwhile, Australia’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region is increasingly challenged not just by struggling or failing states, but by China’s growing economic expansion.

    According to a 2016 national poll of over 1500 people for Campaign for Australian Aid, Australians believed that our federal government gives 13% of the budget to foreign aid, about 14 times more than it actually does. The per capita cost to Australians of its foreign aid amounts only to about $160 a year.

    After 25 years of continuous economic growth, is this is best we Australians can do?

    For further detail on Australian foreign aid, go to the Development Policy Centre of the ANU and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.



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  6. #296
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    Catholics pray after vandals hit

    By Catherine Sheehan



    Bishop Richard Umbers addresses an impromptu prayer vigil at Dulwich Hill after a statue of Our Lady was desecrated. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli


    There has been an overwhelming response from Catholics following the desecration of a statue of Our Lady at a church in Sydney’s inner west.

    The statue was attacked at St Paul of the Cross Church, Dulwich Hill, in the early hours of the morning of Monday 20 November with the heads of both Our Lady and the baby Jesus being severed.

    Earlier in the year a statue of St Charbel was also stolen from the church grounds. It is unknown whether the two incidents are related.

    Bishop Richard Umbers, who has been Parish Priest since Easter, said parishioners were “distraught” about the desecration: “Very, very sad. People were crying,” he said.


    The vandalised statue at Dulwich Hill.

    Hundreds turned out at the church on the evening following the shocking case of vandalism to pray the Rosary in reparation to God for the senseless act.

    “Because of social media things moved so quickly. There were hundreds of people who wanted to pray there and then,” Bishop Umbers said. “It was packed. There were a lot of families and young people.”

    During the prayer vigil the Rosary was recited and hymns were sung. Several people addressed the crowd including Bishop Umbers who said: “When we love a lot, it hurts a lot. But we’re here to pray in a spirit of reparation and what matters is that we be a light in the darkness, that we show our love and that we be free from sin. Because it’s an offence against God so that’s why we’re making reparation.”

    He said during the prayer vigil people were “very emotional”.

    To watch video: https://www.facebook.com/thepretenda...6272878870016/

    Fr John Ssemaganda also spoke to the crowd about Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary, reminding them that Jesus is the centre of everything.

    Following the vigil Bishop Umbers and Fr Ssemaganda offered people the Sacrament of Confession.

    Tony Mattar from Catholic Chaplaincy at Sydney University who helped organise the vigil said he was motivated by his Maronite Catholic faith which entails a strong devotion to Our Lady.

    Mr Mattar said he and fellow Maronites were disgusted when they saw the photos of the desecrated statue.



    People praying in reparation after a statue of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was vandalised at Dulwich Hill. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli


    He said the aim of the vigil was to “unite to show we won’t stand for this type of behaviour” and to emphasise that the response should be made through “praying and not through violence.” The parish has been inundated with offers of help including of funds to replace the statues.

    The motivation behind the attack is not yet known. Bishop Umbers cautioned against conflating the incident with other issues facing people of faith at the moment.

    “There’s all sorts of issues swirling around at the moment and I think the problem with social media is that ‘fake news’ angle of things. People shoot without asking questions. Who knows? We have to wait and see. It could be just a random act of violence. We don’t know that story yet.”

    Following the incident a photo was posted on social media of a young man posing with the decapitated statue.

    It was later reported that a 19 year-old man approached a police station early on the morning of Tuesday 21 November and was assisting police with their inquiries.


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    'Get off the couch and say yes to God'

    Published: 08 December 2017


    Matt Maher leads praise and worship at ACYF (Sydney Archdiocese/ACBC)

    Almost 20,000 young people were urged to set the world on fire with their faith as the Australian Catholic Youth Festival got underway in Sydney yesterday, the ACBC Media Blog reports.

    The festival began at Qudos Bank Arena at Olympic Park with a Welcome to Country, followed by Canadian Catholic music star Matt Maher blasting the stage in praise of Jesus, and Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher’s opening address.

    Archbishop Fisher, the Bishops’ Delegate for Youth, challenged the young people present to follow the example of Mary and “Say Yes” to the plans God has for their lives and he reminded them of Pope Francis’ call for young people not to live as couch potatoes.

    “Get up off the couch and you’ll be able to see further as well as do more,” he said.

    “And that new horizon that is opened up will be a source of joy for you and for others. Say a Marian YES, an in-God-I-trust YES, a with-all-my-heart YES, a for-today-and-always YES to God and see what he can do with you.”

    Speaking at a press conference afterwards, Archbishop Fisher said he was enlivened by the faith of the young people on display during the festival opening.

    “The young people were on fire with faith from the very beginning. Right from the start, you sensed the Holy Spirit among them, their love for the Church, and their hopes,” he said.

    Grammy-nominated Maher, who plays at youth festivals around the world, said he believes such gatherings help young people to meet their struggle for a sense of identity and belonging.

    “To belong to something bigger than yourself, and to ask who am I and what’s my place in the world,” he said. “All it takes is a few people exhibiting the joy of Jesus and that joy is infectious and gives that sense of belonging and being part of a narrative that’s bigger than ourselves.”

    Archbishop Fisher said his hope for the festival is that the young pilgrims will have an encounter with Jesus and a conversion of heart that will impact their lives.

    “I think it’s very important that we’re having ACYF here at this time in Australia.”

    FULL STORY

    Young people urged to say yes to God (ACBC Media Blog)



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    Columban Father Warren Kinne to offer spiritual support for Commonwealth Games athletes

    February 8, 2018
    By Mark Bowling

    Sporting chaplain: Fr Warren Kinne tries on his Commonwealth Games Volunteer uniform. Photo: Connie Nowlan

    MISSIONARY priest Fr Warren Kinne is looking forward to one of the more unusual challenges of his religious life – he has signed up as an official Commonwealth Games chaplain.

    “There will be surprises on the track and in the pool, and there could well be surprises of the spirit,” he said.

    Fr Kinne, who turns 72 in May, spent two decades as a Columban missionary priest in communist China.

    He returned to Australia last year and now lives on the Gold Coast working in parishes and as a student chaplain at Griffith University.

    He has joined the army of volunteers preparing for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and 11 days of world class sporting competition in April.

    “It will be spectacular, and I’m happy to be part of the action,” Fr Kinne said.

    Fr Kinne will join chaplains and representatives from 16 religions and faith organisations, providing services and pastoral care at the Gold Coast athletes’ village – a home away from home for an estimated 6600 athletes and support staff from 70 Commonwealth countries.

    In the heart of the village a multi-faith centre is the religious hub is where Fr Kinne will celebrate Mass, sharing the facility with other faith communities including the four main religions represented – Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and Islam.

    Another Catholic chaplain, Helen Day, will be on hand – part of a team of volunteers offering pastoral care and support at the centre from 7am to 11pm throughout the Games.

    “We’re going to have a significant number of Catholic athletes and their supporters and coaches and so it is good to have a profile there,” Fr Kinne said.

    “There will also be support outside for people who want to attend local churches, mosques or temples.”

    Fr Kinne said Catholics attending the Games might want to visit local parishes, with many families of athletes and tourists staying right across the Coast.

    The number of visitors is expected to swell to 100,000.

    “Mary Immaculate (Ashmore) would be the closest church in walking distance, but also they could hop on a tram and attend Guardian Angels Church in the middle of Southport,” Fr Kinne said.

    Fr Kinne has a strong connection with sport.

    He was a champion swimmer growing up in Bundaberg, where he attended Christian Brothers’ College.

    After graduating as dux of the school, he studied to become a Columban priest.

    His missionary path led to the Philippines in the early 1970s, and then to positions within the society in Australia and Ireland and doctoral studies in England.

    In 1997 he was sent to China – first to Beijing and then Shanghai, where he taught and developed an active ministry working with poor migrant families who had moved from the countryside to find work.

    Fr Kinne witnessed the Church flourishing in some regions of China, while it was driven underground elsewhere.

    Fr Kinne keeps his China connection alive, with more than 900 Chinese students studying at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus.

    He also assists by celebrating Mass in Surfers Paradise and neighbouring parishes.


    Source

  9. #299
    Cronista di CR L'avatar di Pietro servo
    Data Registrazione
    Jan 2014
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    Jesuits outline plan for deeper engagement with Indigenous Peoples


    As the nation marks the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to Indigenous Peoples, the Australian Jesuits have announced the first details of their Bookends Project, outlining a process where Province community members will be invited into deeper engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
    The Bookends Project, was launched in July, committing the Province to redoubling its efforts to promote reconciliation with the country’s First Peoples and its most recent arrivals – refugees and asylum seekers, jesuit.org.au reports.

    Anastasia Moore, who was appointed as a project officer for the project, has been undertaking a consultation process with Province ministries over recent months, including an all-day workshop with Province delegates and ministry representatives.

    Australian Provincial Fr Brian McCoy has now written a letter to Province ministries, announcing a three-stage strategy for the project.

    “Participants in the workshop were very firm in their view that any Province-wide reconciliation plan must begin with opportunities for everyone in the Province, Jesuit and lay, to meet Aboriginal people, listen to their experiences and share in spiritual conversation”, he said.

    The three-stage strategy involves:

    Stage 1: Getting to know

    Creating opportunities for members of the Province to engage with Aboriginal people, and circulating a brochure to the Province summarising the history of the Province’s engagement in this area and present involvement.
    Stage 2: Come to understand
    Engaging minds and hearts to help inform people of the history of local Aboriginal peoples as well as their aspirations and priorities today. The sharing of experiences and relationships will be an ongoing journey.
    Stage 3: Get to work
    After the launch of the first two stages, ministry delegates and the boards of various ministries will be asked, ‘What can this ministry do to advance the Aboriginal component of the Province’s Bookends Project?’ The plan is to launch a series of projects and initiatives, large and small, that will be compiled, documented and monitored under the supervision of the Delegate for Social Ministries.

    Fr Brian said that over the coming months, members of the Province should expect to see a number of initiatives, including storytelling from Aboriginal participants in various ministries, celebratory events coinciding with key dates such as NAIDOC Week, information packs on various topics, and videos and lectures for distribution.

    Anastasia Moore says one of the main aims of the project is to ensure that people across the Province are working together on these issues and asking themselves what they can do to contribute to reconciliation.

    “Many people are committed to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but they not always sure what’s the right way forward. This project aims to offer some clarity to people around the Province, and provide a way that we can collaborate and move forward together”, she said.

    “I’m hoping that by sharing our stories about the past and present, stories that tell us where we have been and where we might be going, stories that recognise suffering, we can be inventive with ideas for change.”

    This story was first published at jesuit.org.au.


    Source

  10. #300
    Cronista di CR L'avatar di Pietro servo
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    New report reveals realities of religious vocation in Australia today


    A new report on recent religious vocations in Australia has uncovered some common characteristics of religious orders that are attracting new women and men, which could help strengthen religious life in Australia and overseas.

    Understanding Religious Vocation in Australia Today was commissioned by Catholic Vocations Ministry Australia (CVMA) and carried out by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Research Office.

    The report is the outcome of a comprehensive research project that sought to understand the characteristics of men and women who entered religious life (and stayed) since 2000 and to identify best practices for vocation promotion.

    The research involved surveys of congregational leaders and new members, interviews with leaders of congregations that had been successful in recent recruitment and focus groups with new members.

    The report found that of the 439 people who had joined a religious congregation in Australia since January 2000, 254 (58 per cent) were still members in 2015.

    It also corrects two common misconceptions: First, that only conservative or traditional religious congregations attract new vocations; and, second, that only people who were born overseas are entering religious life in Australia.

    According to the report, congregations that are successful at attracting new vocations share many strategies in common.

    “Congregational leaders identified three main factors that contributed to success in attracting new members: having an integrated and well-resourced approach, offering a live-in experience and having a full-time vocation director or team,” said Fr Tony Cox SSC, executive officer of CVMA.

    The research also identified features of religious life that attract, challenge and reward new members. Congregational leaders observed that the challenges associated with living in a religious community can be particularly acute for new members.

    Bob Dixon, the report’s lead author, said new members identified the main challenges they face in religious life as living in community, the vow of obedience and factors such as being separated from family and friends.

    “On the other hand, there were rich rewards in religious life in terms of personal development, prayer life and spirituality, community life and companionship, and opportunities to be of service to others,” Dr Dixon said.

    According to the report, attitudes to wearing a religious habit varied considerably among new members. For some, the fact that their congregation wore a habit was a factor in their choice; others chose their congregation because members were not required to wear habits.

    By identifying best practices in vocation promotion, the research is helping congregations adjust their approach to recruitment and has the potential to contribute to strengthening religious life in Australia and elsewhere.

    “The report leaves us in no doubt that religious life has a future in Australia, although the future will not look like the past or even the present,” Fr Cox said.

    “While numbers of young people continue to see value in religious life and some congregations will continue to successfully attract new members, the numbers are not sufficient to prevent large-scale shrinkage of religious congregations in the years ahead.”

    Electronic copies of the report are available from www.pro.catholic.org.au

    For further information about the report, contact Fr Tony Cox SSC (ainslie51@hotmail.com) or Dr Bob Dixon (r.dixon@pro.catholic.org.au).



    Source

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