An Open Letter to the Premier from the Catholic Bishops of Victoria

BishopsOfVic 2020
The Catholic Bishops of Victoria have written an open letter to Premier Daniel Andrews raising concerns of unfairness in COVID restrictions to people of faith."Catholic communities have shown their commitment to acting responsibly and cooperatively throughout the pandemic, and they will be greatly encouraged in this if they can see that people of faith are being given the same consideration as other sectors of the community.” 



Barnabas Prayer Groups

Barnabas PRayer 125

Barnabas Fund works to provide hope and aid for the persecuted Church, from Christians, to Christians, through Christians.

Barnabas Fund also supports prayer groups and acts as a conduit for information and prayer between persecuted Christians worldwide and those who are able to pray for them.

A number of Barnabas Prayer Groups in the Sandhurst Diocese facilitate prayers on behalf of persecuted Christians. All sincere prayers are welcome to join.

In memory of Fr John Naughton

NaughtonJohn 125

Fr John Naughton passed away peacefully at Ave Maria Shepparton on Wednesday 2 September, 2020. In memory of Fr John, we provide eulogies written by his brother, Peter Naughton, and family friend and fellow priest, Monsignor Frank Marriott. Fr John’s Funeral Mass was celebrated by Bishop Shane Mackinlay at St Brendan’s Church in Shepparton on Wednesday 9 September and can still be viewed online. If you would like to view the Mass click here.

Seeking Parish Contacts

Mary P 125pxDiocesan Disability Contact Coordinator, Mary Pianta, is excited to help Sandhurst parishes to learn from each other and other dioceses, about ways in which we can all foster the full participation of people living with disability in parish life. To do this, Mary is seeking people from each parish to act as disability contacts, so we can share our stories and work together to implement positive change.

Marian Festival goes online

MarianFestival2020 12511 October 2020

This year the Annual Bendigo Marian Festival will take place with a small gathering at St Liborius' Church, Eaglehawk. You are invited to join in the proceedings online. Starting at 10:30 a.m. with Mass celebrated by Fr Stephen Bolling, Spiritual Director to the Bendigo Apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima.

Rural Australians for Refugees

by John Murphy, president of RAR Bendigo.

RARLOGO 125Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) is a network of groups in regional and rural Australia made up of concerned citizens working to support refugees and advocate for people seeking asylum. There are several RAR groups in the Sandhurst area, RAR Bendigo is one of them. John Murphy, President of RAR Bendigo writes about their mission and activities and invites you to consider joining your local group.

106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees

WDMR 2020 125The 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) will be celebrated on 27 September 2020.
This year, Pope Francis has chosen ‘Forced like Jesus to flee’ as the title for his annual message to focus on the pastoral care of internally displaced people (IDPs), while understanding there are those who are also feeling ‘displaced’.

Ave Sacer Christi

Dominic 125“He who sings well, prays twice.”
-St. Augustine of Hippo 

Sandhurst seminarian, Dominic Manatad enjoys singing with Corpus Christi’s ‘Seminary Schola’ so much, that he hopes to share his joy via a YouTube recording.

Dementia - a little support makes a lot of difference.

by Mary Painta, Disability Contact Coordinator

Dementia 125Almost half a million Australians live with dementia and this number is set to double in the next twenty-five years. Many people living with the disease can live active and rich lives many years after diagnosis. How can our parish communities become more dementia-friendly? 


Fr Paul Purcell much to celebrate

FrPaulPurcell BlueBac125A living treasure of our diocese, Fr Paul Purcell celebrated his 40th year as a priest in July this year. Fr Paul is proud to have received all of his sacraments in his home parish of Yarraville, where he was born and raised, including his ordination to the priesthood in 1980.

Like many of our priests, Fr Paul has lived an enriched, adventurous and rewarding life.

Annual Pontifical Good Friday Collection

FransiscanHolyLand 125It’s never been easy to be a Christian in the Holy Land; challenges in the middle-east remain as complex as ever. As Catholics, we have an opportunity to express our solidarity with the descendants of those who first believed and lived the Christian faith, and offer hope by supporting the Pontifical Good Friday Collection.
This year, due to the closure of many Churches during Holy Week, Pope Francis has moved the date of the Good Friday Collection to Sunday 13 September to coincide with the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

MailChimp Assisted Dying 125Statement on the VAD Review Board Report by the Catholic Bishops in Victoria
The Catholic Bishops in Victoria have released a statement following the release of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board Report of Operation January - June 2020. 

"The latest report from the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board is not a celebration of good healthcare, but a sad story of the loss of hope and care for vulnerable people."

Holy See offers observations on Royal Commission Recommendations

ACBC Logo 125The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has provided the Holy See's observations on twelve recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to the Australian Government.

The Holy See reiterated its commitment to child protection, and its desire to “spare no effort… in collaborating with civil authorities to pursue every avenue to end the scourge of sexual abuse”.

Putting Children First

Child Protection Sunday 13 September 2020

ChildProtectionSunday 2020 125The Theme of this year's Child Protection Sunday is "Putting Children First". This annual celebration of our children is a reminder to all of us to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of children in every aspect of church and community life. This requires a diocesan-wide effort. Our efforts to protect children and vulnerable adults in our parishes and communities require constant commitment. Safeguarding is the responsibility of every adult. We can never say we have arrived. We can never say we have finally got this right, writes Fr Brian Boyle.

Priests Retirement Foundation

Annual Appeal for Retired Priests of Sandhurst 

PRF Appeal 2020 125Even in this COVID-19 world, September comes around quickly. We may not have the football finals, but it is still time to appeal to you, the faithful people of Sandhurst for some support for the Priests Retirement Foundation of the Diocese of Sandhurst.

Currently we have fourteen priests in the Diocese who are retired. Sadly Fr John Naughton, passed away last week. Fr Des Welladsen, who is to retire after Christmas, will add to the list.

Fr John Naughton RIP

FrNaughton 125Fr John Naughton passed away peacefully at Ave Maria Shepparton on Wednesday 2 September, 2020 with loving family by his side. Born to Catherine and Hugh in 1934, Fr John was the eldest of three sons. He was ordained in 1965 and served as a Priest for over fifty-six years in the Sandhurst parishes of St Kilian's, Yarrawonga, Wangaratta, Tatura, Cathedral, Golden Square and as the Chaplain at Mount Alvernia Hospital. 

Fr John's Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Shepparton by Bishop Shane Mackinlay on Wednesday 9 September at 1:00 p.m.

The View From Home

Jackson SKPrebytery 125by Jackson Saunders 

 No doubt many of us would love to travel to other places right now, but after eight wonderful months in Rome, Sandhurst seminarian Jackson Saunders is glad to be back  in Bendigo.  

From the grounds of St Kilian's Presbytery, Jackson writes about his observations of our times, signs of a general rekindling in faith amongst Australians, and all the things we have to be grateful for.  

Three Parishes Praying as One

KerangZoomMass Novvelito 125Kerang parishioner, Christine O’Donoghue shares how the parishes of Kerang, Cohuna and Pyramid Hill are celebrating Mass and keeping connected, thanks to the help of their tech-savvy parish priest, Fr Novelito Lim.  

She writes “From our parishes to yours, may we all keep safe, prayerful and enjoy what we can from these times.”

Late Bishop Daly Still Making A Difference

BishopNoelDaly 125Sixteen years after his death and forty-one years after he was ordained as Bishop of Sandhurst, Bishop Noel Daly’s legacy continues to provide relief to people experiencing hardship in the Diocese of Sandhurst through the Noel Daly Foundation.

“With this fund, the Diocese has a means to reach out and bless a person, a family, a group, a school, a Church or charitable organisation or a Parish in its midst.

Fr Leo Wearden MSC celebrates 40 Years as a Priest

Leo Weardon Communion 125Sandhurst born and raised Fr Leo Wearden MSC, recently celebrated forty years of priesthood. Now parish priest of a remote community in the Northern Territory, he has served in the Tiwi Islands, Papua New Guinea and East Timor; a long way from Tongala where he attended primary school at St Patrick's and was ordained by the late Bishop Noel Daly in front of a packed crowd in the Shire Hall back in 1980.

Light From the Southern Cross - Report on Church Governance

BishopShaneOutside 350I am very pleased to advise you that Light from the Southern Cross was published last week by the Australian Bishops and Catholic Religious Australia. This is a comprehensive study of the current practices and possibilities for governance and management in Australian dioceses and parishes, which has been undertaken over the last 18 months by a group drawing on local and international experts.

Sandhurst 'Care for Creation' Statement

IMG 4455 (1)Pope Francis invites Catholic people everywhere to join the Season of Creation 2020, a year that marks the fifth anniversary of the encyclical ˜On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si. 
Bishop Shane Mackinlay will launch the first Sandhurst 'Care for Creation' Statement prepared with the aim of encouraging a greater appreciation of Creation and a deeper understanding of our responsibility for its care.

Age No Barrier for Eaglehawk Octogenarian

MaryHarrison 12583-year old Eaglehawk parishioner, Mary Harrison, is now one of five billion people connected to the internet.  Last Sunday Mary watched a live-streamed Mass for the first time. In her 83 years Mary has never known a time when there were no public Masses, and to attend Mass was a great impetus to go online. 

Low Tech Prayer Community


GalahLetter 125Virtual connection doesn't need to be high-tech

Daniel Giles writes about using the humble telephone to pray with a prayer partner and explores ways to foster supportive intergenerational relationships in our church.


Camino de Santiago

LeoCamino 125A pilgrimage from Seville to Santiago 

Leave the confines of COVID-19 restrictions behind and travel vicariously with Eaglehawk Parishioner, Leo Overberg, as he shares his experience cycling the ‘Via de Plata’ one of the ‘Camino de Santiago’ pilgrimages to the Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of St James the Apostle are said to lie in rest. A sacred site, second only to Rome for Christian pilgrims.