President gives Opening Address to second Council Assembly

AB COstelloe 125At the Council’s opening session on Monday 4 July, the Members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia were invited to carry “a deep consciousness of who we are” as the People of God, called to discipleship in the Australian context.
As president of the Plenary Council, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB opened the first day of deliberations with an address to its Members, acknowledging the failure of the Church to live up to this calling.

Second Plenary Council Assembly opens in Sydney

MacBethGreen 125The Members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia were urged to “cling to the cross” and “ask the Holy Spirit to help us” as they commenced the Council’s second assembly on Sunday evening.

The opening Mass of the second assembly began with a heartfelt Welcome to Country ceremony that included an apology to First Nations peoples on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday.

Robodebt Royal Commission must end heartless automated debt collection

CSSV 125As the Government begins drafting terms of reference for a Robodebt Royal Commission, a key outcome must be that the poor and vulnerable are never left at the mercy of such massive government maladministration and heartless automation ever again.

National wage case decision gives low-income earners breathing space but still well below poverty line

CSSV 125The decision today by the Fair Work Commission to increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW) by 5.2 per cent is welcome but workers on low incomes will still struggle to make ends meet, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, Francis Sullivan, said today.

World Meeting of Families 22-26 June 2022

WMOF HEroFamilies will be placed at the centre of pastoral attention as the tenth World Meeting of Families (WMOF) takes place in Rome this week. With the theme “Family Love: a vocation and a path to holiness,” the week aims to highlight family love as a vocation, focus our attention on the ways family members are called to holiness, and explore ways the Church community can support families in their mission.

Mr and Mrs Baldwin 65 Years of Marriage

Julie Darryl Baldwin 125On 15 June 1957, Julie Heaphy and Darrel Baldwin were married in St Malachy’s Church, Nagambie by Father George Shanahan. Last Sunday on 19 June, parishioners of St Malachy’s, together with Fr Tony Hill and Monsignor Frank Hickey, celebrated Julie and Darrel’s 65th Wedding Anniversary in that same church with Mass followed by a delicious morning tea.  

Knights pitch in to restore Grotto of Crucifixion

Grotto Completed 125The Grotto of the Crucifixion on the grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo is sparkling with new life thanks to Knights Eddie Davies, Kevin Egan, Kevin Umina and John Mooney.  

In January this year, the Grotto was in a state of disrepair.  In consultation with Cathedral Administrator, Fr Brian Boyle, Knights of the Southern Cross member Eddie Davies recruited a team of workers to undertake maintenance works.

St Peter's Primary School to celebrate 50 years of learning

St Peters 50th anniversaryFor most of the young pupils at St Peter's Primary School, this year's 50th anniversary is hard to fathom, but for others it runs in the family. Brothers Andre and Nikiri Bysouth are following in the footsteps of their mother, Shaniqua who also attended the school.

Along with their classmates, they have enjoyed looking over vintage photos from the school's history as the community prepares to mark the milestone.

Bishop Joe Grech Youth Scholarship 2022

By Jenni Kennedy 

BishopJoeScholarship 2For the first time in three years recipients of the Bishop Joe Grech Scholarship were able to receive their award in person. Eight of the eleven worthy recipients gathered at an awards ceremony in Bendigo on 16 June. Executive Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst, Mr Paul Desmond was delighted to present the scholarship in person. "To speak with these incredible students and to get a sense of the calibre of young people in our schools is truly inspiring," he said.

Finding Peace in Ballarat

A Mercy Works story for Refugee Week 

RefugeeWeek Peace AziaworWhen Peace Aziawor, 19, arrived in Ballarat from Togo, West Africa in 2011, she was scared, painfully shy and didn’t want to be seen as different. She was so worried about standing out that she asked not be removed from the classroom at Phoenix College for her one-on-one sessions with her Mercy Connect volunteer, Margaret Adams.
It took her a whole year before agreeing to work together with Margaret in the library.

MND Global Awareness Week 19-25 June

By Mary Pianta

MND 400Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a term used to describe a group of diseases for which there is no cure. They affect people in every country of the globe, with over 400,000 currently living with MND.

The date chosen for MND Day, 21 June is a solstice – a turning point, in summer or winter depending on where you live – so it is hoped this day will be another turning point in the search for cause, treatment and cure of this brutal disease. Our vision is of a world free from MND.

Reconciliation Mass for Healing and Justice

SorryDay Kyabram 350The St Augustine's community in Kyabram came together on National Sorry Day to remember the Stolen Generations and commit to working for healing and justice. The day commenced with a Smoking Ceremony and Welcome to Country led by Traditional Elder, Uncle Rik Ronnan, followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Shane Mackinlay.  
A highlight of the mass was the commissioning of 27 new FIRE Carriers who have been learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture. 

PRF Caring for Retired Priests and Priests living with illness

PRF Hero3The Priests Retirement Foundation of the Diocese of Sandhurst (PRF)  has been operating for 21 years and has supported many Sandhurst priests throughout their retirement.  Now,  as approved by the Australian Taxation Office,  the Foundation can not only support retired priests, but also priests living with illness.

As the end of the financial year approaches, you might like to consider making a tax donation to the PRF as a means of assisting Sandhurst priests who have retired or are too unwell to serve. 

Sr Clare Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Clare CondonGood Samaritan Sister, Clare Condon has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Australian Catholic University in recognition of her contribution to social justice and to the Catholic Church in Australia.
She received the honorary degree of Doctor of the University on May 26 at ACU’s graduation ceremony in Sydney. Clare said she accepted the honour on behalf of all women religious in Australia who have done so much in the areas of education, health and social welfare over the past 200 years. “I think women religious in this country do an enormous amount of compassionate support work on the ground with people in advocacy for those most in need, and particularly their work with asylum seekers and refugees,” she said.

Catholic Health Australia Endorses Uluru Statement from the Heart

USFTH FBCatholic Health Australia has joined the many organisations across Australia in supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, as part of National Reconciliation Week 2022.
We join the many voices who are embracing this move towards greater reconciliation with, and a stronger voice for First Nations Peoples.

Graduate Teachers Gather at Conference 2022

Cath Ed New TeachersForty Sandhurst Graduate Teachers gathered together for the first time on the banks of the Murray River in Moama for the 2022 Graduate Teachers’ Conference. The conference commenced with a prayerful Land, Fire, Water and Wind ceremony led by Catholic Education Sandhurst’s Aboriginal Education Team, which allowed all attendees to prepare and be present for what would be a fantastic two days of learning, connection and collaboration; writes Andrea O’Connor.

Career Expo Extravaganza

Careers Expo hero1By Jenni Kennedy

It may be the first time that Catholic Education Sandhurst has taken part in the Tomorrow Bound Careers Expo in Bendigo, but it certainly won’t be the last.

1800 students from regional schools filed through the doors of the Bendigo Stadium on Thursday 26 May as the 60 exhibitors showcased the many career paths available for school leavers.

Homeless services working overtime as winter snap hits eastern Australia

Member services within the Catholic Social Services Australia network are working overtime as freezing cold weather hits the eastern seaboard and forces homeless people off the streets.
“Life on the streets is hard enough at the best of times but when the temperature plummets people sleeping rough need a safe place to sleep, a warm meal and a hot shower more than ever,” Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, Francis Sullivan, said today.

Framework for Motions of Second Assembly Published

Framework For Motions 350Framework for Motions, the document that will guide Members at the second assembly of the Plenary Council was published on 1 June.  It contains 30 motions across eight mission areas which the 277 Members will vote on at the second assembly in July. 
President, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB wrote in a message to fellow Members, “Framework for Motions” will form the backbone of our reflection, discussion and decision when we gather … Our time together in Sydney … will be enormously significant for the whole Catholic community, and for our wider society.” 

New Labor ministers have big task ahead to address Australia’s chronic underprivileged and disadvantaged

“New ministers in the Labor Government have huge challenges on their hands as they work to address the systemic disadvantage millions of Australians face every day,” Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, Francis Sullivan, said today.

Government Called to Close the Gap

Caritas KBHACThis Reconciliation Week, Caritas Australia and Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation call on the government to continue to work towards closing the gap for First Australians.

Christine Rhazi, Caritas Australia’s First Australians Associate Director, and a proud Yamatji Widi woman from Geraldton,says “Our country has a history of making decisions on behalf of, rather than with, First Australians. This means we’ve ended up with a lot of policies that don’t work or cause further trauma to culture and communities.”

Diocese of Sandhurst Synod on Synodality Synthesis

The Australian Diocesan Consultation and Discernment Phase of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (The Synod on Synodality) finished in April 2022.  The synthesis of responses from Sandhurst parishioners is now publically available. 

Sandhurst Celebrates Synodality: Ascension Sunday Reflection

Scripture scholar, Very Rev. Brian Boyle EV, writes about the readings from the gospels of Mark and Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles.

Justice Matters Camp: A reflection from students of Marian College Myrtleford

Justice Matters 2022 Group 125The annual Justice Matters Camp for Sandhurst secondary students was held in Beechworth earlier this month. The camp aims to inspire students to become agents of change locally, nationally and globally, by raising awareness amongst students of social justice issues and fostering advocacy and promoting action for justice.  Students also had the opportunity to further understand their relationship with God, with themselves and with others, as well as make new like-minded friends. Marian College students share their experience of the camp. 


We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him (Mt 2:2)
This is the 114th year that Christian Churches across the world have celebrated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Pope Francis is dedicated to strengthening ecumenism and frequently engages with other Christian Churches, and we are challenged to follow his lead.In Australia, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is between Ascension and Pentecost. 

 For more information go to the National Council of Churches in Australia website.

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