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News 2008

NEWS 2008

Married Man to be Ordained to Priesthood in Texas

Extract from Deacon Greg Kandra, Catholine Online, Tuesday 30 December 2008

"Waldo Emerson "Knick" Knickerbocker, a married former Episcopalian minister, will be ordained as a Roman Catholic deacon at 11:15 a.m. Sunday at St. Theresa Church in Junction. The ceremony will be conducted by Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI .  A month later, on Jan. 28 at Sacred Heart Cathedral Church in San Angelo, Knickerbocker will be ordained a priest for the Catholic Church. Knickerbocker will be the first married man to be ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Angelo, according to a news release. Knickerbocker's ordination to the diaconate and priesthood is in accord with the 1981 decision by the Holy See to make an exception to the general rule calling only non-married men to priesthood (more). 



Spirituality found in our bond with others

Extract from Opinion Piece, The Age, John Chesterman, Friday 26 December 2008

Earlier this year I mourned for someone I barely knew, a woman who had never spoken or walked. Simone lived her 40-year life trapped in a body that didn't work. She was a person whose severe physical disabilities masked, at least to an outsider, any sense of the internal capacities that she might have had. I still think about Simone, not because she was related to me, or even a friend, but because her life and death makes me question what it is to be human.... (more).


Christmas Eve Masses 2008

Wednesday 24 December

Capacity and over-capacity congregations at Parish Christmas Eve Masses (see Liturgy page photos).


Draft Parish Facilities Master Plan

Sunday 21 December 2008

At Masses this weekend Parish Leadership Team executives introduced the Draft Parish Facilities Master Plan and provided copies of a summary.


In introducing the Draft, PLT Chairperson Pat Kelly and fellow exec Geoff Crawford said that whatever the eventual outcome there is simply no option to do nothing. The draft plan has been discussed with the Archdiocese which responded encouragingly. The Heidellberg  Council has so far responded similarly. 


A Parish consultative process will follow in the new year. The summary  document may be downloaded here. The separate cover page (in colour) includes an architects visual impression of part of the development. This larger electronic file (takes a little longer to download) may be downloaded here or the Leadership Team page.


Members of the PLT have full copies of the draft and would be pleased to show them to anyone and to discuss viewpoints. 


Public comments to the Parish Leadership Team (PLT) are invited  and welcomed at any time via the "Your Views" section of the website, or if you prefer privately to the PLT, or both.


Christianity's diverse flock

Extract from The Age, John Mangan, Sunday 21 December 2008

The lavish vestments and walls crowded with ornate images of the Virgin Mary, Jesus and African saints evoke an ancient Ethiopian cathedral, but this is a church in suburban Maribyrnong......More than 5500 Ethiopians live in Australia, and for members of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, Christmas, or "Genna", is one of the great feast days in their calendar (more).

Archbishop crosses sword with UK PM on society and the economy

Extract from SMH, Paola Totaro in London, Saturday 20 December 2008

The ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge - and the looming UK recession - have returned to haunt London, sparking an unbecoming, pre-Christmas war of words between the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Society, said Dr Rowan Williams, had succumbed to a drive of unsustainable greed and the economic downturn might lead people to reconsider the real meaning of wealth. He not only suggested that the global financial crisis may have presented the West with a "reality check" about its unsustainable consumption but queried the morality of Gordon Brown's financial strategy to cushion the crunch. (more)

Pope encourages Church Life and Vatican presence on Internet        

Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Friday 19 December 2008

Pope Benedict XVI says he wants the life of the Church, and particularly of the Holy See, to be present in audio, text and video on the Internet (more).


Senior Youth Ministry Projects Officer

Extract from ACBC, Friday 19 December 2008

A young father with 15 years experience in youth ministry around Australia has been appointed to take up the new position as Senior Youth Ministry Projects Officer with the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life (more). 

 Realism is base of Human Rights                                                                      

Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 18 December 2008

Defence of human rights must be based in an objective knowledge of human nature, lest terminology be reinterpreted at the service of private desires or ideologies, says a Holy See representative (more).

A Church in Guantánamo                                                                                           

Extract from Robert Cohen, International Herald Tribune, Sunday 14 December 2008                  ......In Guantánamo, we pulled up by the main plaza. Dusk was falling. Old folk sat on benches under the palms. I set out across the square toward a whitewashed church, Santa Catalina de Ricci, whose heavy wooden doors were flung open.

A surprise awaited me. The church was full. A young priest in luminous green vestments was holding Mass. His words met me as I entered: "La Misa es siempre un encuentro con Dios" - "Mass is always an encounter with God."

I am a stranger to faith. Yet a wave of physical relief swept over me. After 10 days in Cuba, with its hymns to the heroism of Fidel, Che Guevara, the revolution and socialism, the priest seemed a merciful figure. Instead of the deification of Fidel and the utopian perfectibility of mankind, he posited human fallibility and a consoling salvation....(more).

Economists and Economics!

Opinion Piece: A 'no-prejudice' selection of  Economic Quotes! John Costa

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
Laurence J. Peter

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Have more than thou showest, Speak less than thou knowest.
William Shakespeare.......(more)

Prime Minister sings praises of the Catholic Liberal Arts

Extracts from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Friday 12 December 2008


The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, believes that there is more to Higher Education than simply studying for a job....."In the long run, a liberal arts education may even prove the best preparation for the jobs of the future." (...more)


Security guards hired for Grade 1 BBQ

Extract from The Age, Tuesday 9 December 2008


Security guards were hired to watch over a grade 1 barbecue at a Melbourne Primary guards would also patrol the grade 6 graduation and other future events....The Principal said "I want to stress that this is not about students' behaviour but about the actions of a small number of parents".....(more)


News from the Plenary Meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Extract from ACBC, Tuesday 9 December 2008

 Amongst other items Reports include:

-  Power of National Apology to stolen generations

-  New Missal edges closer

-  Bishops reflect on anti-life laws

-  Accessible new pamphlets on Catholic doctrine to be issued next year.....(more)


Charities in High Court win over ATO

Extract from Catholic news, Thursday 4th November 2008

In a decision with great significance for church organisations, the High Court has ruled that profits from a business enterprise operated by a charity and used to fund its activities are exempt from taxation.The Age reports the judges ruled four to one that the profits from a funeral service used to fund the activities of Wycliffe Bible Translation, a missionary organisation, should be exempt.They said the principal issue in whether an institution was charitable was its purposes, not just its activities (more). 

Advent - Reaching out,

Friday 28 November 2008


The Parish is full of life and activity, involves people of all  ages, and is continuing to evolve. Its Newsletter and this Website (the "Online Parish") offer a birds eye view of its rich and diverse character, which changes with the world from moment to moment.


In particular the Parish offers support for those with spiritual  and/or social or practical needs, and challenge for those in a position to reach out and assist others in even small ways.This reflects the Parish values of Inclusiveness, Hospitality, Mission and Service. These will receive particular focus during the forthcoming period of Advent.


At this start of the new church year Advent represents a "new beginning", and in that context a conspicuous green banner  has been installed outside Mary Immaculate Church in Upper Heidelberg Road. Apart from offering a seasonal message it effectively invites passers-by to visit the Parish  via its Website, and in one way or another to observe or  visit this vibrant and evolving  community.  Downloadable details of Advent activities are available on the "Mass Times" page.


Congratulations Deirdre!

Friday 28 November 2008

We rejoice with and ask blessings upon Deirdre Ragless who will bee ordained a priest at St. Paul’s Anglican cathedral this weekend. Our parish has been privileged to offer hospitality to Deirdre while carrying out her chaplaincy work and to walk with her on her further faith journey - to this day.


Pope appoints Korean Economics Professor to oversee Holy See economic Affairs

Extract from Catholic News, Friday 18 November 2008

Pope Benedict has appointed Korean economics professor Thomas Han Hong-Soon as international controller for the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. As financial controller, Han will be responsible for examining the Vatican's accounts and balance sheets A professor of economics at the College of Business and Economics of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Han is president of the Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of Korea. The professor explained that "formation in the Word of God must be 'performative'" and "must include a solid formation in the Church's social doctrine" (more). 


Holy See fears rich countries becoming stingy

Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 27 November 2008

Rich nations' concern with the financial crisis could mean that aid to developing countries is put on a back burner, the Holy See fears (more).


Bishops approve post WYD Youth Ministry Blueprint

Extract from ACBC, Thursday 27 November 2008

The Catholic Bishops of Australia have approved a blueprint, received from the National Youth Leaders’ Gathering, for the future coordination of youth ministry across the nation.In approving the blueprint, the Bishops praised the post-WYD spirit of faith that was evident both at the National Gathering and also in the direction of the initiatives presented to them in the NYLG report.

The blueprint outlines three key areas for national co-ordination, while also leaving room for each diocese, religious order, school, group or movement to implement their own specific initiatives.The three areas highlighted are: Formation for Young People; Support for Youth Ministry; and National Events (more).

Lennon Jesus quip reviewed

Extract from BBC News, David Willey, Saturday 22 November 2008

A Vatican newspaper has forgiven the late English singer John Lennon for saying four decades ago that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus. In an article praising The Beatles, L'Osservatore Romano said Lennon had just been showing off. Lennon told a British newspaper in 1966 - at the height of Beatlemania - that he did not know which would die out first, Christianity or rock and roll. At the time, the comparison sparked controversy in the US. The semi-official Vatican newspaper marked the 40th anniversary of The Beatles' "White Album" with an article praising Lennon and the Fab Four from Liverpool (more).

Cool Opportunity for Schoolies

Extract from Catholic news. Friday 21 November 2008


Instead of Schoolies Week, Students from Melbourne's De La Salle College have switched to a new program known as "Coolies" in which they will travel to India to work as labourers with poor communities…. Through Coolies, students are able to make a real difference with the few weeks they have between finishing their exams and Christmas by working to improve the lives of those living with the effects of poverty in India, a De La Salle statement says…. Br Denis Loft established the Coolies program in 2006 in an effort to foster the idea of community service among his pupils (more).


Heaven a place not on earth?

Extract from The Age, Saturday 15 November 2008

A US funeral business that specialises in launching cremated human remains into Earth's orbit has begun taking reservations for landing small capsules of ashes on the moon. "Celestis' first general public lunar mission could occur as early as 2010 and reservations are now being taken," said Charles Chafer, Celestis founder and president. For sending a tiny, one gram portion of cremated remains to the moon, the company charges $A14,997, according to Celestis's website (more).

Defense of life and religious freedom in final declaration of Catholic-Muslim Forum

Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Friday 7 November 2008


At the conclusion of the Catholic-Muslim Forum which took place at the Vatican, the participants issued a joint statement underscoring, among other themes, the importance of the defense of life as a gift from God to each person, religious freedom and the promotion of common moral values.
The text states that Christians and Muslims believe that "human life is a very precious gift from God for each person, and therefore it should be preserved and honoured in all of its stages." 
(read more)

Vatican II "extraordinary" - Pope

Extract from Catholic news, Wednesday 29th October 2008

The Second Vatican Council was an "extraordinary ecclesial event" that must continue to be applied, Pope Benedict said yesterday....Writing to an international congress on the pontificate of John Paul II and the Council, Pope Benedict said that the council's documents must continue to be applied to the Church to lead people to Christ and give them hope, Catholic News Agency reports (read more).

Jesus Not God: Bathurst priest

Extract from Catholic news, Wednesday 29th October 2008

 "No human being can ever be God, and Jesus was a human being. It is as simple as that," Bathurst priest Fr Peter Dresser argues in a booklet on sale in several Catholic parishes, including South Brisbane's St Mary's (read more).


Navigating towards spirituality

Extract from ACBC, Wednesday 29th October 2008

 The call to live life in the Holy Spirit was a powerful and unforgettable theme of the recent World Youth Day celebration and to aid in this, a new booklet has been published to help guide Christians towards an authentic understanding of spirituality (read more). 


Benedict XVI's "Complete Works" being published

 Extract from Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese, Thursday 23 October 2008


The secret of Pope Benedict XVI's theology is not just in his extraordinary knowledge, but in the fact that he lives what he believes, says the bishop in charge of the publication of his "Complete Works." (read more)



Stay in the Public Square

 Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, 1 October 2008

  Politics needs Christianity and it is therefore totally legitimate for believers to participate in the public square, says Benedict XVI's secretary of state.....Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said in Rome today that without God, politics begins to lose the ability to respect law and recognize the common good.
This is confirmed by "the tragic end of all political ideologies" and even by the "present financial crisis," the Vatican official said. "Wherever one's own benefit is sought in the short term, virtually identifying that with the good, one ends up by cancelling one's own benefit"(read more here).


Catholic?  Been away?

From Archbishop Philip Wilson on behalf of all the bishops of Australia 

The Catholic Bishops of Australia want to welcome back people who have drifted away from the life of the Church for whatever reason or who have never really been part of it. The Church is God’s family and, like any family, has its differences. Sometimes people are hurt by other family members. We ask your forgiveness if you have been hurt in some way through the Church. Sometimes people can leave home just through the pressures of the world. We want you to know that, if you have been away, you are still called by God to the fullness of life, and to live that life in the community of the Church, where Christ with his life-giving Word and his Sacraments of salvation are available. (Full letter here).


Changes in the Church - Fr Frank O'Loughlin 

21 May 2008
At Mother of God Church this evening Fr Frank O’Loughlin spoke powerfully about significant changes in the Church. The context was that “It is mostly hard to cope with major changes that occur before we are ready”. His final conclusion was very liberating, in that it provided a positive rather than negative view of these changes. It also provided a reassuring historical context for current changes, an analysis of their importance, and highlighted the inevitability and opportunities of change. He further spoke encouragingly about evidence of new life arising from such change in the spirit of faith. An interpretation and very brief summary of his key points can be found here.


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