Year in Review 2019

Catholic Diocese Of Sandhurst - Diocesan Office

We are pleased to share with you the Year in Review 2019 from the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst. The Year in Review shares highlights, reports and financial information regarding our activity in this diocese of the Catholic Church, a region covering North East Victoria, including such cities as Wodonga, Wangaratta, Shepparton and Bendigo. This activity includes our parishes, healthcare facilities, schools, social works and specialised ministries. During the disruption of coronavirus in 2020, the Year in Review 2019 is a welcome reminder of more normal times and the vitality, growth and strength of our cherished local communities.

Bishop Mackinlay commissions Review of the Diocese

Catholic Diocese Of Sandhurst - Diocesan OfficeAfter seven very busy months meeting clergy, parishioners and board members in parishes and schools across the Diocese, Bishop Shane has commissioned a formal review of current and potential structures of the Diocese. The results of the review will assist and support Bishop Shane in planning for the future of the Diocese by identifying effective structures for the strategic, consultative and administrative needs of the diocese. The review aims to find ways to best embed contemporary standards of good governance, while respecting the authority and responsibilities of the Bishop, and observing the requirements of the Code of Canon Law.

Online Courses for Faith Education and Ministry Formation

Sacred Heart Cathedral, BendigoLife has changed. The challenges and opportunities of living during a pandemic have drawn upon our capacities to adjust and adapt, be hopeful, creative and learn new ways to stay connected with others. There are many online resources to enrich your journey in faith, and we have some options for you to explore. Lyn Breen, Adult Faith Education Sandhurst, suggests quality online courses to develop faith understanding and skills for a parish ministry.

When in Rome… news from Deacon Adi Indra

Seminarian Adi Indra in RomeRev. Deacon Adi Indra has had an unusual time in Rome as he continues his studies in Canon Law and prepares for his Ordination to the Priesthood in in September. When Italy went into lockdown Adi’s college community shrunk from 180 people to only 24. For the first time, Australians became the majority at North American College. We can only imagine how this experience has galvanised their friendships as they walked empty corridors…

Genazzano a Bishop’s ‘Country Residence’

Genazzano - Sandhurst DioceseHigh on a hill as if reaching for the heavens, the stately Victorian residence Genazzano was bought by Bishop Crane and Bishop Reville in 1888 and has been home to several Sandhurst Bishops since.

Today, surrounded by new houses in the Sandhurst Crest subdivision it is the home of Bishop Shane Mackinlay.

To read more from Sandhurst Archivist, Dr Donna Bailey about the construction and residential history of Genazzano

A New Era for School Governance

Bishop Mackinlay Schools GovernanceHaving carefully considered the report of the Working Party, I have accepted its recommendation of ‘incorporating all parish schools into one integrated diocesan system under the auspices of the Diocese of Sandhurst.’ I have now commissioned the Working Party to commence phase two of its task: Mapping a clear Incorporation and School Governance Implementation Plan.

Caritas Australia and our Catholic Schools

St Joseph's School Cobram Caritas K's eventCatholic schools are called to live the gospel (love our neighbour) and, in doing this, be guided by Catholic Social Teaching. In summary, a call to uphold dignity, end poverty and promote justice which is how Caritas Australia expresses its aims. Through engagement with both students and teachers, Caritas brings Catholic Social Teaching to life and encourages the concept of ‘think globally, act locally’!

2020 Wheel of Prayer Day

Wheel of PrayerSeeking inspiration to cultivate a flourishing prayer life?
Then join us for our ‘Wheel of Prayer Day’ and explore different forms of prayer to help you sustain a powerful and effective private prayer practice.

This year, the ‘Wheel of Prayer Day’ will be offered live online via ‘Zoom’ on Saturday 8 August 2020. The day will begin with an introductory reflection and the Prayer of the Church (or ‘Liturgy of the Hours’) led by Bishop Shane Mackinlay. Four 45-minute workshops, each offering a brief introduction and experience of prayer will follow.

Catholic Bishops to entrust Australia to Our Lady

sandhurst diocese coat of arms22 May 2020

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has agreed to entrust the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. 

New report on Plenary Council submissions from Sandhurst Catholics

sandhurst diocese coat of arms19 May 2020

The Sandhurst Plenary Council Committee has released a new report,   pdf "Please Change" What Sandhurst Catholics said about Plenary Council Phase 1: Listening and Dialogue (704 KB) .

Click read more to view the report.

Word of Encouragement from the Australian Catholic Bishops

sandhurst diocese coat of arms14 May 2020

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference released pdf A Word of Encouragement to the Catholic People of Australia (249 KB) , assuring the people of God of their prayers and reasons for hope in this new stage of the response to Coronavirus.

Churches begin to reopen

sandhurst diocese coat of arms13 May 2020

The Catholic Bishops of Victoria have written a Pastoral Letter regarding the joyous news that churches can reopen for small Masses and private prayer. 

- pdf Read the new Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of Victoria (229 KB)

New Lectures: Understanding the Word of God

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Adult Faith Education Sandhurst presents a new lecture series: Understanding the Word of God

Join the Rev Dr Brian Boyle for a three part lecture on the nature of Scripture in the Catholic tradition.
These lectures will give you a sense of the shape of contemporary Catholic theology regarding sacred Scripture and a familiarity with some key concepts in this area which is crucial to the practice of the Catholic faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Click read more to access the video links and lecture notes.

Easter Message 2020

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God is present in our solidarity and solitude

This is a time of great transition and disruption. Our lives have rapidly been emptied of their normal routines and activities, spending much more time at home, with less and less of the connections and contacts that we take for granted. More and more shops and businesses have closed, and even our churches, playgrounds and cafes stand silent and empty. As we worry about how the pandemic might progress, we are feeling vulnerable and anxious, uncertain about what the coming months will hold for us.

No child left behind as Catholic schools pledge relief for Coronavirus’ economic victims

sandhursr diocese coat of arms 125pxBishop Shane Mackinlay and Paul Desmond, Executive Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst, published a media release pledging support for Catholic school students whose families are impacted economically by Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Prayer Resources

sandhurst diocese coat of armsDuring this time of social isolation it is important that we pray and stay connected to our community. A range of online resources are available to assist with this. These include daily prayers and readings, prayer services, the Sunday Office, commentaries, homilies and reflections as well as Gospel based activities and resources to support personal and family prayer. LITURGY HELP: Go to: and follow the prompts to access. Let us create prayerful solidarity with our community and the whole Body of Christ. Liturgy Help ( Here are some more resources to help you and your family.

Public Masses Suspended

sandhurst diocese coat of armsPrayers continue and livestream details from the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst will be announced soon.

- Read the Letter from the Bishops of Victoria suspending public liturgies and Masses

Victorian Pastoral Letter on Novel Coronavirus

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13 March 2020

Prayerful greetings to the people of God across Victoria,

You would be aware of the precautionary measures underway in light of changes to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Following this afternoon’s decision of the governments of Australia, all organised non-essential large gatherings (of 500 or more) are recommended to cease from Monday 16 March. In our circumstances, this includes the celebration of Mass and other liturgies that bring together significantly large numbers.

Monsignor Peter Jeffrey Oration 2020

sandhurst diocese coat of arms18 February 2020

Bishop Shane Mackinlay presented the Monsignor Peter Jeffrey Oration in Shepparton on 18 February 2020 to the Education Leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst.

The address shared Bishop Mackinlay's considerations on issues such as leadership and formation, passing on the faith to the next generation, good governance, the 5th Plenary Council in Australia, synodality, and Pope Francis' pontificate.


Lent Resources for 2020

Lent 2020 cover 125pxLENT 2020 Leaflets for prayer and reflection for individuals and groups.

Free to download from Adult Faith Education Sandhurst.

Future of the Poor Clares, Bendigo

Poor Clare Sisters SquareThe Poor Clare Colettines are a religious order of women in the tradition of St Clare and St Francis of Assisi, who live in enclosed communities of prayer, silence, and peaceful work to pursue perfect Christian love in lives given entirely to Jesus Christ.

The community of Poor Clare Sisters at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Kennington, have served the Church through prayer for over 50 years, as a blessing to the entire Diocese of Sandhurst, the people of Bendigo, and Kennington Parish.

The number of sisters has declined over the years and there are currently three Poor Clare Sisters in Kennington, who are advancing in years.

Prayer: In the Face of the Terror of Bushfires

bushfire 125pxHere is a Prayer In the Face of the Terror of Bushfires adapted for us by Fr Tony Hill, parish priest of Euroa.

Bishop Shane Mackinlay urges generous response to devastating bushfires

Poor Clare Sisters Square

3 January 2020

With acrid smoke hanging in the air across the region these last few days, we have all had a strong reminder of the bushfires that have affected so many areas of South-East Australia this last week, including a number of communities in our own diocese. There is a deep concern for those who have died, and those who have lost loved ones or property.

We can be very grateful for the heroic efforts by fire fighters and other emergency personnel, and the impressive coordination of evacuations and warning messages.  While the cooler weather has provided some respite in the last couple of days, the fires are continuing to burn, and it is anticipated that there will be significant threats again in the coming days.

Bishop Shane Mackinlay's Christmas Message 2019

bishopshane 150Christmas is our celebration of the God who is with us.

It’s 10 weeks since I was ordained bishop. In that time, I have visited parishes, schools, healthcare providers, and welfare agencies in various parts of the diocese, and met with groups and committees that are involved with different dimensions of the life of the church, both in the diocese and more broadly. I am on a steep learning curve about the extraordinary richness and diversity of people and activities that are taking place in our region.

Pathways for Families

Pathways families 2020 cover 125pxThe Sandhurst Diocese ‘Pathways for Families’ online resource contains a wide variety of live links to information, networks and resources to enrich, interest and support families in their continuing journeys in Faith, Prayer, Spirituality, connections to families and wider community, and much more.

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