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News 2010


Vatican Cracks Down on Financial Crimes
Extract from Sabrina Cohen and Nathania Zevi, The Wall Street Journal, Friday 31 December 2010

The Vatican created a watchdog to supervise financial transactions and new laws against financial crimes, capping a yearlong effort by the Holy See to join other sovereign states in cracking down on money-laundering and terror financing. The measures, which come as Vatican bank officials are under investigation in an Italian money-laundering probe, are intended to improve transparency at the Holy See's bank (more).

Popes, Atheists and Freedom
Extract from Daniel  Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, Friday 31 December 2010

This being the season of hope, Islamic extremists of course have been engaged in their annual tradition of blowing up Christian churches. An attack by a radical Muslim sect on two churches in northern Nigeria killed six people on Christmas Eve. On the Philippines' Jolo Island, home to al Qaeda-linked terrorists, a chapel bombing during Christmas Mass injured 11. One of the central public events during these days at year's end is the Pope's midnight Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In his homily the pope invariably pleads for peace, but on Friday evening a viewer could not have missed the meaning when Benedict XVI twice mentioned "garments rolled in blood," from Isaiah 9:5 (more).

Pastoral Associate
Chris Dixon, Chair, Pastoral Leadership Team, Parish Newsletter

It is with regret that we announce that Amanda will be leaving us in January at the end of her current contract in order to take up another position.  We wish her well with her new role as (full time) Pastoral Associate at Port Melbourne-Middle Park Parish. We thank her very much for her work with us and we look forward to seeing her at parish events in the future.

Religious charities putting doctrine above children's interests
Extract from  Jen Vuk, The Age. Thursday 30 December 2010

It was with a heavy heart that I read of a landmark ruling earlier this month that gives religious charities the freedom to ban gay foster parents.The New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal found that Wesley Dalmar Services, the foster-care arm of Wesley Mission, was within its rights to knock back a gay couple who applied in the early 2000s to become foster carers, because their "lifestyle was not in keeping with the beliefs and values of Wesleyanism" (more).

Let's forget the fire and brimstone
Extracts from Chris Patten*, The Australian, Wednesday 30 December 2010

IT has been a better year for God. After withering literary assaults on the Almighty from the Oxford academic Richard Dawkins, the essayist Christopher Hitchens and others, the believers have hit back....Best of all has been The Case for God by the brilliant religion writer Karen Armstrong. More important still is the news that more people (certainly in Britain) are going to Christian churches of all denominations. Moreover, the Pope made a very successful visit to Britain in September. And we know about heavy attendance at the nation's mosques....For a happier New Year, we should listen to the core messages of all these great religions, above all the Confucian golden rule that we should never do to others what we would not like to be done to us. What religion should teach us is not how to hate, but to borrow again from Confucius how to develop societies that look after and welcome the poor, the stranger, and the oppressed. Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Gambling with history: Benedict and the Legion of Christ
Extract from Analysis, Jasom Berry, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 29 December 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's decision last July to take control of the Legionaries of Christ was a calculated risk. Amid a withering clergy abuse crisis, the pope chose an overseer to remake an international religious order built on the "charism" of a founder who sexually abused seminarians and fathered out-of-wedlock children, including two sons who claim they are incest victims (more).

Limited Parish Office resources next week
The Office will be attended at different intervals from 27 - 31 December as Parish Secretary Ruth Villani will be on leave. Phone messages, urgent or otherwise, may be left at 9499 5440 or 9499 1515. Notices such as deaths, anniversaries and prayers for the sick will be noted and where possible included as part of Prayers of the Faithful within Mass. They can be included in the newsletter weekend of 8 - 9 Jan 2011 if desired.

Manuscripts suggest identity of Jesus' great-grandmother
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 17 December 2010

The great-grandmother of Jesus was a woman named Ismeria, according to Florentine medieval manuscripts analyzed by a historian, reports Discovery News.The manuscripts suggest that St Ismeria, a descendent of the tribe of King David, was the grandmother of the Virgin Mary and the great-grandmother of Jesus (more).

Religious freedom a 'weapon of peace', says Pope
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 17 December 2010

Pope Benedict has called religious freedom "an authentic weapon of peace", and said infringement on it could threaten peace and security worldwide, and stifle true human growth and development, reports the Catholic News Service (more).

Court panel hears oral arguments in appeal on same-sex marriage ruling
Extract from Geeorge Raine, Catholic News Service, Friday 17 December 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) -- A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco Dec. 6 took up the question of the constitutionality of California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, a hearing that may well have been a prelude to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the initiative. A group of faith-based supporters of Proposition 8, including Catholics, along with Imperial County, is appealing an Aug. 4 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker that the initiative is unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (more).

Don't send Afghan Hazaras back, urge bishops
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 16 December 2010

Australia's Catholic Bishops have questioned a reported deal - on the verge of being signed between Canberra and Kabul - to send more than 300 Hazara asylum seekers back to Afghanistan at a time when it is unclear if the country is safe, according to a media statement (more).

Belief in Christ still the biggest
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Monday 13 December 2010

Christianity remains the world's biggest religion, but Islam is catching up while non-belief increased enormously over the past century but is now in sharp decline, according to the Christian Research Association. Australian religious trends of rising agnosticism and declining Christianity contradict most of the world, the association reports in its December bulletin (more).

Vatican reaction to WikiLeaks claims
Extract from Tom Kington, The Guardian, Sunday 12 December 2010

The Vatican has described the release of Wikileaks cables depicting its inner workings in an unflattering light as a matter of "extreme seriousness". The cables from the American embassy at the Vatican, which describe an out of touch Vatican leadership and its refusal to assist an Irish inquiry into priestly abuse, were potentially unreliable, the Vatican said in a statement (more).

Animal Kingdom and Mother of God Church
Edited extract from The Australian. Sunday 12 December 2010

David Michod's film about three vicious brothers and their approving mum, played by Jacki Weaver, won the key award for best film, topping a two-night ceremony in which it won ten awards from its 18 nominations, including three of the four main acting awards and two popularity votes, the AFI Members' Choice award and the News Limited newspapers' Reader's Choice Award. One of its scenes was filmed in Mother of God Church (more,  photo Joe Chiera, and see website Photos/multimedia page).

The cringe at the heart of Christmas
Extracts from comment by Giles Fraser*, The Age, Sunday 12 December 2010

Christmas can be a bad time for those of us with an allergy to all that Jesus-is-my-friend theology........The human search for meaning and truth needs many voices. There is much that belief has to learn from unbelief (more). * Giles Fraser is canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral.

A child is born to us
Extract from Madonna magazine, Saturday 11 December 2010

This is one of the beautiful choruses from Handel’s Sacred Oratorio Messiah, which is often performed during Advent (‘as Christmas as plum pudding’, one reviewer put it). Soon after this is recounted the angel’s appearance to the shepherds announcing the wondrous events of the night and singing praise to God. Handel’s magnificent work, now some 270 years old, has been called ‘unequivocally the most-loved, best-known and most-performed work in the entire choral repertoire’ (more). Subscription information for Madonna magazine here.   Watch Sir Colin Davis LSO performance on Photos/Multimedia page here

Brother Roger Schütz of Taizé - A springtime of ecumenism
Edited extract from Madonna Magazine, Saturday  11 December 2010 
                                                                                                           This year marks the fifth anniversary of the death of Br Roger Schütz of Taizé and the 70th anniversary of his arrival in that place of pilgrimage and prayer. In 1940, at the age of 25, Brother Roger left his home town Geneva for France, the country his mother came from. For years he had been ill with tuberculosis, and during a long convalescence he had acknowledged within him the call to create a community. He came to stay in Cluny, attracted by its history, but was told of a house for sale in the nearby village of Taizé, where he settled (more). Our parish sometimes uses Taizé music for Reflection before Mass.

Devil has infiltrated Vatican, says chief exorcist
Extract from The  Australian Saturday 11 March 2010

Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist. Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, The Times of London reported. He said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon" (more).

Father Bob crowned 'Old Bastard of the Year'

Extract from Catholic News,Friday 10 December 2010

South Melbourne priest Father Bob Maguire has been crowned Old Bastard of the Year for 2010 by the International Society of Old Bastards in recognition of his work with the homeless and disadvantaged in Melbourne, said the Herald Sun (more).

Bishop with no papal approval elected head of China bishops
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 10 December 2010

A bishop who does not have papal approval has been elected president of the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC), and a Vatican-approved bishop became head of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), reports (more).

First Canadian Anglican parish turns to Rome
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 9 December 2010

A small congregation of conservative Anglicans in the western province of Alberta, has become the first in Canada to join the Catholic Church, reports the Independent Catholic News. Most of the 70 members of the St John the Evangelist Anglican parish in Calgary, voted in favour of the change last month after a year of talks with Catholic Church officials. "We accept, unreservedly and with humility and gratitude, the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church," reads the motion the congregation approved (more).

First mobile phone audio Bible service launched in Pakistan
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 9 December 2010

Christians in Pakistan have praised the country's first-ever audio service of the Bible via mobile phones, which was launched this week, reports The project was launched by E-verses and was originally designed only for an audio Bible. It later incorporated Islamic content because the company wanted to reach a larger audience in the country, said Philemon Joseph, its designer..... He said he got the inspiration months ago while reading the Bible and came up with the idea of providing people "easy access" to the word of the God (more).

Santa banned from kindergarten's Christmas
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 8 December 2010

A Victorian kindergarten has banned Santa and his sleigh, holly or any mention of a religious holiday this Christmas, as part of an effort to be inclusive of all religious and cultural groups, reports the Herald Sun. "We are just trying to take an open approach to the holiday season," said spokeswoman of the Montessori Marvels Preschool in Greenvale, Marlene Guclu. "We run a non-denominational, non-religious program," said Guclu , herself a Christian (more).

The trouble with women
Extract from Bill Farrelly, Catholica, Thursday 9 December 2010

I have a problem with women. My problem is this: Excluding the thousands of selfless nuns to whom millions are indebted, there aren't enough women in the places where you are often most needed. Who am I kidding? There aren't any of you in the place you are perhaps most essential — the altars of the Catholic Church. Why won't the Church open its eyes to this ignorance, this arrogance? And please, don't give me the 'equal but different' argument. It doesn't wash (more).

Vatican official speaks of a 'strategy of reconciliation' with women religious
Extract from John Allen Jr, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 7 December 2010

Rome must acknowledge the “depth of anger and hurt” provoked by a visitation of American nuns, the Vatican’s number two official for religious life has said, saying it illustrates the need for a “strategy of reconciliation” with women religious. Archbishop Joseph Tobin, Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said that he does not expect any “punitive” fallout from the visitation, and that before any decisions are made, women’s communities should have a chance to know the results and to respond (more).

Spirit of Christmas  (Sunday 5 December 2010)
Despite uncertainties about a new Parish Priest to replace Fr John who is retiring in January, parishioners found much to celebrate last Sunday in all that has happened and is continuing during Fr John's ten years of service to Ivanhoe. The traditional parish end-of-year get-together on Sunday 5th December after 5pm Mass was successful in itself. In addition a parallel get together by members of the Young Peoples Group after their "Youth Mass for Everyone" enjoyably continued the strong spirit generated by them during the Mass  through their active participation. Party photo Edward McArdle. More photos on Photos/Multimedia page

International Day of People with Disability                                                                                                                                             Extract from Catholic News, Friday 3 December 2010
Today is International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), a UN-sanctioned day that began in 1992 to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being. The day also seeks to increase awar eness of the benefits of the integration of people with disability in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has made available a parish kit on its website, and the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life has prepared a bookmark, which has been distributed to parishes and can be downloaded here. Also see Levelling the disability hierarchy, Moira Byrne Garton, Eureka Street, Friday 3 December 2010 here.

"Youth Mass for Everyone" Sunday 5 December
John Costa, Friday 3 December 2010

Parish young people have energetically assisted in planning and arranging Sunday's 5.00pm "Youth Mass for Everyone" at Mary Immaculate. Several will actively participate in the Mass. Throughout his life as a priest Fr John has been a very active supporter of Parish young people, regularly visiting our Primary Schools and actively supporting our Young Peoples' Group for those beyond Primary school. He will celebrate his last Youth Mass before retiring in January. After Mass our young people will share a (BYO) meal at an end-of-year party until 7.30 pm. This will coincide with a separate BYO get-together for everyone else in the Parish, either behind or inside the Parish Office depending on weather. All are welcome.

Preliminary steps to sainthood for Melbourne woman
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 3 December 2010

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, has announced that the preliminary phase of the cause for canonisation of an Australian woman, Mary Glowrey, has commenced in Bangalore, India, according to a media release.Mary Glowrey served in India as a medical missionary with a Dutch religious order of sisters from 1920 until her death in 1957 (more).

Plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
From Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Friday 3 December 2010

The many topics discussed during this conference from 22-26 November included the Middle East Synod, Solidarity with the Christian people of Iraq, Condolence to the people of New Zealand, Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Situation in Sudan, Introduction of the New English Missal, Preparing for World Youth Day (WYD) 2011, Safeguarding the institution of marriage, Euthanasia, Anglican Ordinariate, Appeal tribunal for marriage cases in Australia, Booklet on Introduction to the Catholic Church, Catechetical material for prisoners, National Family Gathering in 2011, St Valentine’s Day parish and school kit. A brief report on this conference may be seen here

Early documents: Pope's push for quicker action on errant priests
Extract from Catholic news, Friday 3 December 2010

Pope Benedict XVI pushed for "more rapid and simplified" procedures to punish errant priests as far back as 1988, when he was the Vatican's chief doctrinal officer, but his request was not met, according to documents released by the Vatican on Wednesday, reports the New York Times. At the height of the sexual abuse crisis last year, the pontiff's defenders said he had long argued for disciplining priests who had been found guilty of grave misconduct, while other Vatican officials advocated more lenience. The new documentation is the most comprehensive made public to date supporting those claims (more).

Survivors and supporters unite for a Global Alliance
Edited extracts from Roy letter, 30 Nov. Catholica, 3 December 2010

Over the past several months, interest has been growing around the world in Survivors Australia and the call for (clerical abuse) survivors and their supporters to unite! And, soon a Global Alliance will be established, with the world's leading survivor advocates meeting up in Philadelphia next week.....For the past 12 months Survivors Australia has been working closely with canon law expert Tom Doyle, and survivor advocate Jeff Anderson from the United States - both of whom are extremely supportive of all Survivors Australia are working on. Next Sunday Tom, Jeff and Nikki will be meeting in the USA and travelling to Philadelphia together on what will be a truly historic journey (more).

Elegy for Cambodia and New Zealand
Extracts from Catherine Marshall, Eureka Street, Friday 26 November 2010

It is the living who are burdened with responsibility for those who have died. In New Zealand, where a  Hollywood ending redolent of the San Jose Mine in Chile failed to materialise, mine management and redundant rescue teams must now contain the grief and anger of a nation.......Cambodians are all too familiar with brutality and loss; this most recent tragedy is just one more blow to a beaten, diminished people. It will be stoically absorbed into their national psyche, alongside all those acts of depravity inflicted by the Khmer Rouge regime, the landmine and cluster bomb injuries that still occur daily, and the other, innumerable hardships that define these people's lives (more).Subscription to Eureka Street is free

Youth Leader takes on new role outside parish
John Costa, Friday 27 November 2010

Annette Giang became a Youth Leader for our parish this year and has impressed everyone with her work in this role. As part of the Archdiocese’s commitment to youth ministry Melbourne hosts a National Evangelisation Team (NET) which runs activity sessions and retreats for young people. The Group ran a much enjoyed and worthwhile session for our youth this year. Annette has just been appointed to the NET team and will leave us to take up this full-time volunteer position for a year interstate in 2011. We will miss Annette but wish her well. Her last YPG activity will be to Lead our "Youth Mass for Everyone" at 5.00pm on Sunday 5 December.

North Korea attack damages only Catholic Church on island
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 25 November 2020

An artillery attack by North Korea on South Korea's Yeonpyeong-do Island has damaged the island's only Catholic Church, said All Catholics, including Father Joseph Kim Tae-heon, the parish priest, are safe as they evacuated to a bomb shelter as soon as the island came under North Korean shelling on Monday. While 80 percent of the residents have since left, the parish priest has opted to stay on the island with those remaining (more).  Ed:We think of the Korean Catholic Community of St Bernadette's at this time.

Domus Australia in Rome - Fr Anthony Denton appointed Rector
Edited Extracts from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 25 November 2010, and The Record, 17 November

Domus Australia, which means Australia House, is both a 'casa per ferie' (i.e. guest accommodation) and an Australian pilgrim centre. Cardinal Pell and the other bishops see it as providing a home-away-from-home for Aussies travelling to Rome. It is located at Via Cernaia, about 10 minutes’ walk from Rome’s Central train station and within walking distance of the Vatican. It has excellent accommodation that will be comfortable and welcoming, but it also will have an Australian feel about it. The philosophy behind the project is to create a focal point that can open up Rome's Christian heritage to people from Down Under. Cardinal George Pell, the driving force behind the project, said a central aim of Domus is to enrich Australians’ faith by connecting the heart of the Church with their Church back home – links that “have traditionally been very strong” (more  Also see The Record).

SA parliament defeats euthanasia bill
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 25 November 2010

A South Australian voluntary euthanasia bill has been "clearly defeated" in the state parliament, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.....the bill would have allowed euthanasia for patients that did not have a terminal illness, left psychological referral of patients as an option only and offered a "toothless" Voluntary Euthanasia Board to oversee the practice (more).

Reform begins for Legionaries of Christ
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 25 November 2010

The Vatican official in charge of the reform of the Legionaries of Christ has begun to introduce changes to the group, as Pope Benedict acknowledged that the Holy See had been slow to act on the scandal in the order, said AP reports in the Washington Post....Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal De Paolis to take over and profoundly reform the Legion after a Vatican investigation concluded that its founder was a fraud who sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least three children (more).

Condoms okay in 'exceptional' cases
Extract from AFP, The Age, Sunday 21 November 2010

The Vatican has emphasised that the use of condoms is acceptable only in 'exceptional' cases, after an apparent U-turn by Pope Benedict XVI on a blanket ban on their use (more). Also see Analysis by Barney Zwartz, The Age, Monday 22 November

Priest risks his future by calling for women clergy
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Friday 19 November 2010

Greg Reynolds is grateful that heretics are no longer burnt at the stake. But the Catholic parish priest at Western Port knows that he will be dismissed after this article because Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has told him so. Father Reynolds, 57, delivered a homily in his three parish churches two months ago saying it was God's will for the church to have women priests and that, by refusing them, the church was obstructing the work of the Holy Spirit (more).

Multimedia delay at St Bernadette's
John Costa, Friday 19 November 2010

While the Vatican is celebrating its new mobile High Definition television studio the modest standard definition multimedia facility for St Bernadette's is being delayed by an equipment supplier. Could it be related to having beaten down the price to match our budget? At least some components have arrived and work is proceeding.

Anglicans and Catholics
Extracts from Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, Thursday 18 November 2020

The English Catholic Church is preparing to welcome five Anglican Bishops and over 40 priests under arrangements earlier made by the Vatican. Some time earlier, too, an English congregation decided to become Catholic. Some breathless commentators speculated whether this trickle would become a flood and lead to England again being Catholic..........Predictions that massive numbers of Anglicans will become Catholic seem far-fetched. Certainly, the Anglican communion was divided by the ordination of women as priests, and is sharply divided by proposals to ordain women Bishops and to ordain as Bishops men in openly homosexual relationships. But only some of those opposed to these initiatives would feel any attraction to Rome (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free

100-plus priests attend US exorcism conference
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 18 November 2010

Over 100 US bishops and priests attended a conference on exorcism, hosted by the US bishops in Baltimore to "really to provide some guidance for bishops" because only a "small number" of priests are trained in the area, reports the Catholic News Agency (more). Image: Flickr, Nukkerz

Gay union would change meaning of marriage: bishop
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 18 November 2010

Homosexual marriage would fundamentally change our understanding of marriage as a life-giving and sexually complementary union, to one that is personal, romantic, without true communion or connection to procreation, Bishop Julian Porteous said, The Catholic Weekly reports."It will entrench, in a public way, the separation of sexuality from its life-giving aspect and separate the notion of marriage from including the generation of children," he said (more).

'Unwise' to ban Irish priest's writings, Vatican told
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 17 November 2010

The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland has described as "unwise" and "counterproductive" a Vatican ban on unapproved future writings by an Irish Capuchin - which followed an article by him that suggested homosexuality was "simply a facet of the human condition', reports The Irish Times (more).

Vatican unveils new mobile HD TV studio
Extracts from Cindy Wood, Catholic News Service, Wednesday 17 November 2010

....The new truck, Anderson said, is part of the "unbroken Catholic tradition of bringing the good news of Christ to the greatest number of people possible in the clearest manner available." Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican television center and the Vatican press office, told reporters the mobile studio and its all-HD equipment were worth just more than $6 million.....Father Lombardi said there is a continuing dialogue at the Vatican between communications professionals and papal liturgists to find ways to meet the needs of both (more). Photo: Flickr, Robert Vanal

Last orders
Extracts from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Wednesday 17 November 2010

Religious orders may be in decline, but the Jesuits are confident they will always have a meaningful role to play......The 1960s were the highpoint for the Jesuits, as for all Australia's religious orders. But then the world changed with the pill, the sexual revolution, feminism, civil rights, a loss of trust in institutions, the glorification of self and the emphasis on personal autonomy, and consequently the church changed, too. The Catholic Church experienced the great reforming council of Vatican II, sweeping in the winds of change and bringing a great re-examination......St Aloysius principal Chris Middleton, a Jesuit priest, says that when he was at school many students had five HSC subjects taught by Jesuits. ''The world has moved on and schools are very different places now. They are far more professional, more specialised, the pressure is greater. The Catholic ghetto culture is long gone (more).

Extreme unction for some great traditions
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, National Times, Tuesday 16 November 2010

If you are under 50, there's a good chance you don't know any Catholic religious (nuns, brothers, priests in religious orders). If you're under 30 you've likely never seen one, especially as so few now wear habits or distinctive clothes. Today they are an endangered species, as a new survey of 161 Catholic orders shows (more).

Michelangelo's Last Judgement inspired by Roman baths
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 16 November 2010

Italian researchers say Michelangelo's Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel was most likely inspired by scenes from Roman baths, CBC reports. Researchers at the University of Pisa says it's likely the artist, who frequented the baths, created the muscular figures in his work from what he witnessed. His depiction of the second coming of Christ was painted between 1508 and 1512 (more).

Anglicans defect to Rome
Extract from The Age, Telegraph London, Monday 15 November 2010

The Catholic Church will announce this week that 50 Anglican clergy are defecting to Rome following the Church of England's moves to introduce women bishops. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, will disclose on Friday the Vatican's plan to welcome the departing priests, including five bishops. Hundreds of Anglican churchgoers will join them in the Ordinariate - a structure introduced by the Pope to provide refuge for those disaffected with the Church of England.The number of departing worshippers is predicted to double as the new arrangement begins to take shape (more). Photo AP

Our New Parish Priest
From Fr John Cunningham, Parish Newsletter, 13-14 October 2010

2010 is coming to a close. In a short time we will commence a new Church and Liturgical Year. We will celebrate the Birth of Christ once again – and during 2011 we will walk with the Lord through the challenges of His life as we face the challenges of our lives, and our lives as the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. Next year you will, in all probability have a new Parish Priest and I am sure that you will all welcome him. After all, one of our parish values is Welcome – to all who come to our community. I hope that we will welcome our new Parish Priest and listen to his wisdom as he listens to our wisdom and our story. I’ll pen a few words on this subject over the next few weeks. Photo: Our website photographer happened to pass by this Parish house recently and snapped the car outside. However interesting there's probably no connection with this article! - Ed.

Catholic orders seek new direction as numbers fall
Extract from Barney Zwartz,The Age, Saturday 13 November 2010

Most Catholic religious orders in Australia face a bleak future, with fewer than half the numbers of 25 years ago, a median age of 73 and a death rate vastly outstripping new members, according to a new report. Many of the 161 orders of nuns, brothers and priests in the report will be extinct within 15 years - some have only two or three members - and they have closed or transferred more than 100 hospitals, schools or aged-care facilities (more).

Local woman awarded Papal honour
Extract from Catholic News. 12 November 2010

The World Union of Catholic Women's Organisation's Vice President General and Australian board member, Brenda Finlayson, has been awarded the Papal Honour of Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. The award recognises her service to the Church, WUCWO, the Catholic Women's League Australia, the Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga, and the Australian community. Brenda will be invested by Bishop Peter Connors at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat, this month (more).

Thousands tipped to desert Church of England and follow bishops to Rome
Edited Extract from staff writers, Herald Sun Tuesday 9 November 2010

Anglican worshippers were today tipped to begin following bishops and clergy to Rome in an exodus that could see the Catholic Church begin to reclaim its pre-Reformation status as the Church in England. Five Anglican bishops described their “dismay” and “distress” with the direction the Church of England is taking as they announced that they are to join the Roman Catholic Church under the Vatican's Ordinariate scheme for disaffected Anglicans....(One of the five Bishops includes) the former Bishop of Ballarat in Australia, the Right Reverend David Silk (more).

Battle to keep darkness at bay when mental illness hits home
Extract from Ross Taylor, The Age, Monday 8 November 2010

My wife was unlucky to suffer the terror of sickness, lucky to have the support to get well........Alex's sickness has changed my world view. In hospital I met and saw many sick people with all kinds of mental health issues. Now, when I see beggars on the street, the homeless, I can see that many of them show signs of mental illness. The thought that not everyone has the resources or family and friends to support them breaks my heart (more).

A hybrid Christianity for Aboriginal Australians
Extract from Peter Kirkwood. Eureka Street, Friday 5 November 2010

A striking feature of the recent Vatican ceremonies elevating Mary MacKillop to sainthood was the central involvement of Aboriginal Catholics. Earlier this week Eureka Street published the text of an address given by Father Frank Brennan last Sunday at the American Academy of Religion in which he spoke movingly of his experience being with the Aboriginal contingent which attended the canonisation in Rome (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free.

Pope rated fifth most powerful person in world
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 5 November 2010

Pope Benedict is in the top five of Forbes Magazine's list of "The World's Most Powerful People", and is the highest ranked religious figure on the list of 68, said a report on pontiff came in fifth, after Chinese President Hu Jintao, US President Barack Obama, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Russia's Vladimir Putin, according to the list found on (more).

re-learning words to liturgy
Extract from Catholicnews, Thursday 4 November 2010

As the new translation of the Roman Missal is rolled out, Catholics are having to learn new wording for some of the most familiar prayers, writes the CNN Belief Blog. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has been conducting workshops all year to help local clergy and lay ministers prepare for the changes. Changes and revised order can be seen on the bishops' website here......"The long-term goal of the new translation is to foster a deeper awareness and appreciation of the mysteries being celebrated in the Liturgy," the US bishops write on their website (more).

Justin Bieber's faith to keep him clean
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 4 November 2010

Teen music heart-throb Justin Bieber says his belief in God can keep him from turning into a drunken and wasted mess like many other young Hollywood stars, The Hot Hits website reports. Bieber, who is Catholic, told the Associated Press, "Hollywood is... a scary place. There's a lot going on, there's a lot of bad things, but there's also a lot of good things. I'm able to live my dream, I'm able to do a lot of good things..."I'm a Christian, I believe in God... As soon as I start forgetting, I've got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I'm here."(more) . View Justin in Australia on Videos page.

Poll: most Irish Catholic women do not feel valued by the Church
Extract from Michael Kelly, CatholicHerald (UK), Thursday 4 November 2010

Irish Catholic women feel that they are not sufficiently appreciated by the Church, but their faith remains strong, according to a newly published survey. The research, which compared attitudes between Catholic and Protestant women, found that 74 per cent of Catholic women surveyed felt that the Church did not treat them with “a lot of respect”. Among Protestant women, just 6.3 per cent felt that lack of respect (more).

On anniversary of Reformation, it’s time to get ecumenical
Extract from Bill Tammeus, a small c catholic. Wednesday 3 Oct 2010, National Catholic Reporter online

We Protestants just commemorated Reformation Sunday, annually timed to note the Oct. 31 date on which Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg...In the “always reforming” tradition -- one I value -- I give at least a little thought each year as to whether, with 500 years of hindsight, the Protestant Reformation was worth it. But because I know we can’t undo history, I don’t spend lots of time crying over this spilled milk. Nonetheless, despite some crucially important changes brought about first by the Protestant Reformation and then by what scholars used to call the Catholic Counterreformation (the term has gone out of academic style), it’s possible now to argue that Christianity might be better off today had the Reformation never occurred (more).

The inevitability of tears
Extract from Alison Sampson, Eureka Street, Tuesday 2 November 2010

.....When my grandparents died earlier this year, I barely cried at their funerals. While reading aloud at my grandmother's, I glanced out at the congregation and saw my grandfather's face shiny with tears, looking up at me so gentle and trusting with sad brown eyes like a spaniel's. My voice cracked, but I'm a good girl so I held it together, finished the reading, and quietly sat down....Eight weeks later, at his funeral, I silently wept; I couldn't be the only one racked with sobs. I avoided everyone's eyes (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free. Image Chris Johnston

Curran: How bishops challenge abortion laws is 'flawed'
Extract from Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter, Monday 29 October 29 2010

The approach currently taken by the U.S. bishops to changing the law on abortion -- giving it a preeminence above all other issues that Catholic voters might consider -- is flawed on four counts, argued Fr. Charles Curran during a lecture Oct. 28 in the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, where he teaches. Curran, a controversial theologian who ran into trouble with church authorities earlier in his career for challenging church teaching on artificial birth control and other social issues, did not dispute church teaching about abortion in his talk. Instead he argued that various approaches to the law are acceptable under Catholic teaching (more).

Holy women as important as priests, says Pope
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 28 October 2010

The 14th-century St Bridget of Sweden is a "powerful example of feminine sanctity" and a reminder of the spiritual power and authority of women in the Church, Pope Benedict said.
St. Bridget founded a religious order that was composed of both monks and nuns living separately under her authority as abbess, said a Catholic News Agency report....In the first part of her life, Bridget was a happily married mother of eight. With her husband, Ulf, she lived the lifestyle of the Third Order of St. Francis and founded a hospital for the poor. When her husband died, she gave all her worldly possessions to the poor, moved into a Cistercian convent, and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity to deepen her relationship with God (more).

Euthanasia manslaughter conviction quashed
Extract from Lisa Davis, The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 28 October 2010

A Woman found guilty of killing her de facto husband in an assisted suicide has had her conviction quashed, with an appeal court today ordering a new trial.Shirley Justins, 60, was found guilty in 2008 of manslaughter for providing Alzheimer's sufferer Graeme Wylie with a lethal dose of the veterinary drug Nembutal in March 2006....(more)

Reach young through social media, says Vatican expert
Extracts from Catholic News. Thursday 28 October 2010

New media is a means to get the Church's message across to a younger generation of Catholics, said the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication Monsignor Paul Tighe."The Pope said that young people are using new media to find relationships," he told NT "They just want connectiveness," he said. - the site created by Monsignor Tighe - has YouTube clips, a Facebook app and an iPhone app. "It got five million hits in four days," he said....."We need to let people teach us how to communicate," he said (more).

Church disappointment over ethics classes recommendation
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 28 October 2010

The Church has expressed disappointment over recommendations for NSW primary schools to implement ethics classes as an alternative to religious classes. The recommendation, contained in the 102-page independent report by Dr Sue Knight and three colleagues at the University of South Australia, says the State Government could adopt the ethics classes model used in the recent 10-week trial if it decides to establish the classes, said The Catholic Weekly (more).

Lift probition on married priests, synod asks Pope
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 26 October 2010

The Synod of Bishops for the Middle East has proposed a change to Vatican rules that technically prohibit the Eastern Catholic churches' ordination of married men outside the church's traditional homeland.The proposal was among among 44 propositions presented to Pope Benedict by bishops meeting on the Middle East (more).

Social welfare good news stories
Extracts from Tony Vinson, Eureka Street, Monday October 25, 2010

'Good Welfare Stories' by Chris JohnstonThe new Jesuit Social Services study Moving from the Edge is not a welfare tale of woe. It is a celebration of lives that have 'come good'. Individuals and families have spoken in a basically human way about their transition from being 'outsiders' to social 'insiders'. In the process we gain some important leads on different influences that have supported that journey....But there is another fundamental lesson to be learned. We are witnessing the revival of an old, recurring criticism called welfare dependency (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free (here)

Catholic bloggers aim to purge dissenters
- Goal is to pressure the Roman Catholic Church in America to change
Extracts from Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, 24 October 2010
Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough. Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church (more).

Communicating more effectively in our Parish
John Costa, Friday 22 October 2010

The canonisation of Saint Mary of the Cross last weekend has accelerated the installation of a broadband connection to the Parish Hall. This was necessary to enable the broadcast to be presented on the large screen there (see report below), and will now also allow the Parish to participate in a growing number of live interactive forums, presentations and educational sessions from Australia and elsewhere, such as the recent Jesus the Christ eConference and others. Use of such technology for liturgy and to improve communication and dialogue in the church is in its infancy but already starting to have much impact. Right now multimedia equipment is being ordered for St Bernadette's church as already now provided at Mother of God and Mary Immaculate churches.

Catholic women need to challenge hierarchy for good of the church
Extracts from Laura Beth Bugg, The Age, Friday 22 December 2010

St Mary of the Cross now joins the ranks of women deemed worthy of canonisation because of extraordinary works, virtuous behaviour, service and leadership but not worthy of serving as priests.....Australians have connected with different aspects of St Mary's story - her passion for the marginalised and her perseverance despite adversity. But her story also illustrates how the Catholic Church hierarchy continues to impede women's deeply held commitments and aspirations (more).

It may not be sexy, but there are votes in helping the poor
Extracts from Paul Austin, The Age, Thursday 21 October 2010

Newly published research for the charity Mission Australia makes particularly depressing reading. A survey of 1230 ''clients'' across Australia found that in Victoria, one in seven people seeking help from welfare groups was missing at least one substantial meal a day, that 42 per cent said they could not afford dental treatment, 33 per cent said they did not have enough money to buy prescribed medicines and 26 per cent were unable to pay their electricity, gas and water bills.....The findings regarding children are heartbreaking. About a quarter of the families seeking help from welfare agencies said they could not fund hobbies for their children, 21 per cent said they could not afford school activities such as excursions and 12 per cent reported they were not able to provide separate beds for each child (more).

Pope names 24 new cardinals
Edited Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 21 October 2010

Pope Benedict XVI named 24 new cardinals at the end of his weekly general audience on Wednesday, and said he would formally install the cardinals during a special consistory at the Vatican November 20, Catholic News Service has reported....The new cardinals come from 13 countries on five continents, and their number included 10 Italians. The pope named 10 Roman Curia officials - a higher number than expected - along with 10 residential archbishops (two of whom were retired) and four prelates over the age of 80....The November ceremony will mark the third time Pope Benedict has created cardinals since his election in 2005.....he will have appointed about 40 percent of the cardinals currently under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope (more).

Letter to world’s seminarians from Pope
Extracts from John Thavis, Catholic Herald UK, Thursday 21 October 2010

Benedict XVI has written to the world’s seminarians, telling them that the world needs priests who can serve God wholeheartedly and bring God to others.....The Pope encouraged seminarians to overcome any doubts about the value of the priesthood and priestly celibacy that may have been prompted by priests who “disfigured” their ministry by sexually abusing children. He said that “even the most reprehensible abuse cannot discredit the priestly mission”. (more)

Religious scorched earth policy for Ireland?
Extract from Catholic Herald UK, Thursday 21 October 2010

The First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Peter Robinson, last Friday called for an end to government funding of Catholic schools. This, he claimed, was part of a push towards an integrated education system. The education of Protestants and Catholics in separate schools in Northern Ireland, he said, is “a benign form of apartheid”......According to Mr Robinson: “We cannot hope to move beyond our present community divisions while our young people are educated separately.”......In 2005, a joint study by academics from Queen’s University, Belfast, and the University of Ulster, found that the Catholic Church in Ireland had seen a sharp drop in attendance from 90 per cent to 62 per cent in 15 years. Discouragingly for Mr Robinson, however, the report found that whereas Catholics were more likely to stay with the Church but simply attend less, Protestants tended to move away from churches altogether (more).

Parish Celebration
John Costa, Sunday 17th October 2010

In addition to special Masses throughout the Parish this weekend the celebration of Mary MacKillop's Canonisation was shared with very many others around the world this evening by an enthusiastic gathering in MI Hall following a buffet meal together after 5:00pm Mass. Rome and Ivanhoe were linked via large screen projection, interestingly using the very same screen installed in that hall in the 1970s by Fr Kevin Dillon for 'movie' projection. The impressive but very formal liturgy from Rome contrasted strongly with an Australian two part celebration in Rome the night before of the life of Mary MacKillop, firstly in song, drama and multimedia. The 2nd part took the form of a more spontaneous and inclusive form of liturgy, itself reflecting Mary MacKillop. Aboriginal people lead the procession of Sisters from various countries; and other pilgrims from Scotland, Peru, East Timor and other parts of the world. Sister Anne Derwin, congregational leader of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and Archbishop Philip Wilson, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference lead the prayer.The enthusiasm was apparently shared by an ABC presenter during the canonisation telecast who twice referred to his panel guest Sr Therese as Saint Therese!  In any case, welcome to Saint Mary of the Cross!

Wall Street Journal and Mary McKillop and the Church
Extracts from Rachel Pannett, WSJ

Australia will get its first saint Sunday when Pope Benedict XVI presides over the canonization of Mary Mac Killop, co-founder in 1866 of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, an order still at work among the country's poorest. In Australia, as in many places, the Roman Catholic Church has been shaken in recent years by revelations of child sexual abuse by priests and cover-ups by their superiors....Getting a saint has proved energizing. A website dedicated to Mary MacKillop's life crashed under the weight of the traffic (more). 

Trapped Chilean miners emerge with faith renewed
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 15 October 2010

The chaplain to the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera says the country has been gripped by spiritual fervour in the aftermath of the trapped miners' rescue. Rev Alfredo Cooper, who saw the miners after their release, said all 33 men emerged from the mine - where they were trapped for 69 days - with either a new or renewed faith in God, said a report in the Independent Catholic News (more).

Feature - Holocaust musical tribute with Catholic flavour
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 15th October 2010

When conductor Murry Sidlin visits the mass graves near the former concentration camp in Terezin, Czech Republic, he is convinced the "ground is unsettled"."This is not a place where people rest in peace. This is a place where the world turned its back and let these people die," said Sidlin, dean of the music school at The Catholic University of America in Washington.For the past eight years, Sidlin has been determined to pay homage to the men and women of the prison camp by focusing specifically on the interminable spirit of its choir of 150 prisoners and their conductor, Rafael Schaechter.(more).

Lessons from Saint Mary of the Cross
Extracts from Kairos: Volume 21, Issue 19, published in Catholic News

....It is with great joy that Catholics in Australia receive Mary MacKillop as our first saint. She is one of our own; not a saint of distant times or distant lands, but one whose life and work has touched us directly, one who was born here, one who died and is buried here.......So, what lessons can we learn from St Mary? There are several.The first is that holiness is accessible to all, no matter how difficult our lives or how ordinary our place is in the world....A second lesson we can learn is that we cannot attain holiness on our own......(a third lesson is) the lesson of constancy. “Be faithful until death,” says our Lord, “and I will give you the crown of life”.....(more).  The Canonisation Broadcast from Rome will be streamed via the Internet and projected on the Big Screen at Mary Immaculate Hall on Sunday 17th from 6:00pm to around 9:00pm (further details below or Parish Newsletter).

Mery MacKillop souvenirs in Rome
Extracts from The  Australian, Thursday 14 October 2010

In Rome, a small industry of MacKillop souvenirs has sprung up, with some unfortunate results. Outside the Libreria Ancona bookshop, 100m from St Peter's, a large poster promotes the sale of key rings for E4 ($5.65), rosary beads (from E2.50-E15) and holy cards (E1) devoted to "Mery MacKillop". Several sets of holy cards have managed to get the Australian-born nun's first and second names right, only to spell her middle name "Helen" (more).

Professor attacks evidence
Extract from Amy Corderoy, The Age, Tuesday 12 October, 2010

The celebration of Mary MacKillop's miracle cancer cures is a worrying example of the lack of scientific literacy in the community, says an expert in evidence-based medicine.
The question is not whether New South Wales mother Kathleen Evans recovered from her cancer after praying to Mary MacKillop but how many others prayed and did not go into remission, said Chris Del Mar, a professor of primary care research at Bond University (more).

Shedding light on Christian Australia's bleak prognosis
Extract from Peter Kirkwood, Eureka Street*, Friday 8 October 2010

Gary Bouma is one of most respected observers of religion in this country. He is a sociologist and has worked in research and academia at the highest level. So he brings prodigious skills and a wealth of experience to the task. His prognosis for institutional Christianity is particularly bleak. It's a story of aging congregations and rapid decline. He predicts that, by 2021, less than 50 per cent of Australians will call themselves Christian (more). * Subscription to Eureka Street is free.

A Very Well-Earned Retirement:
From the Parish Newsletter, 9-10 October 2010

A recent notice from the Vicar-General of the Archdiocese under the heading of Clergy Appointments listed the appointments of five priests as Pastores Emiriti, and one of these is our Parish Priest of ten years, Fr John Cunningham.  The term Pastores Emeriti effectively means Pastor of Merit and is bestowed upon retiring priests / pastors. This means that Fr John will retire as Parish Priest with effect from 12 January 2011. A Parish Profile has been forwarded to the Vicar-General who will advertise the vacancy in a forthcoming notice to priests seeking applications for the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. 

Church and Christianity in South Korea

John Costa, Seoul, Friday 24 September 2010

Our Korean Community at St Bernadette's Church like very many other Korean Christian Communities is very much inspired by the Korean Martyrs who were the victims of religious persecution against the Catholic Church during the 19th century in Korea. At least 8,000 followers of the faith were known to have been killed during this persecution, 103 of whom were canonized en masse in 1984. The Anniversary of this significant event was celebrated on September 20th during our visit  The high visibility of church in South Korea today is one of the measures of the strength of Catholicism and Christianity generally that can be readily observed whilst traveling around South Korea. Culture notwithstanding one wonders whether this might possibly be linked to the very nature of the Korean people observed during this brief journey (more). (painting depicts martyrs St Apul Chong and St Andrew Kim)

Pray for Scott Rush, appeals priest
Extract from Catholic News, Friday  8 October 2010

As the Indonesian Supreme Court deliberates on Scott Rush's appeal against his death sentence for acting a drug courier, his family's former parish priest is calling for prayers. Fr Tim Harris, the family's former parish priest in the Brisbane parish of Corinda, asked for prayers that 24-year-old Rush will be spared from the firing squad, said The Catholic Weekly (more).

That Canonisation
Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe, Friday 8 October 2010

The Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe celebrates the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop. Come and watch it together on the big screen in Ivanhoe, live from Rome. Mary Immaculate Hall, Sunday October 17th, 6 pm onwards (Canonisation starts around 7pm),$5 entry, Snacks, tea & coffee provided Soft drinks $1, Bring a plate to share & own refreshments (look out for an article in The Heidelberger next week).

Mary, the astute property investor
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 7 October 2010

Old System deeds released by the Land and Property Management Authority show how Australia's first saint used her business skills to transform blocks of land and small buildings into schools, orphanages and convents, reports The Daily Telegraph. Congregational Leader Sister Anne Derwin rsj said Mary MacKillop used her business savvy to serve the disadvantaged (more).

Statement on Euthanasia  
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 7 October 2010

here is a renewed push in Victoria and many other parts of Australia for euthanasia and assisted suicide to be legalised. Misplaced compassion leads some to call for euthanasia. While it is never easy facing the end of life of a loved one, we cannot support the legalisation of euthanasia however it is described (more).

'How to die' becoming as important a question as 'how to live'
Extract fromn Tanveer Ahmed* , The Age, Thursday 7 October 2010

Bob Brown's post-election call for a conscience vote on the territories' right to pass euthanasia laws has been criticised for being a distraction from issues that really matter to the average Australian. But such criticism misses the likelihood that the 21st century may well be the one where ''how to die'' becomes as important a question as ''how to live'' (more).       * (Sydney Morning Herald columnist and psychiatry registrar)

Was Jesus a Wowser?
Extract from Dr Ian Elmer, Catholica, Thursday 7 October 2010

I was surprised recently to hear one of my students describe Jesus  as a "wowser" and Christianity as the world's foremost proponent of "wowserism". While I might be able to understand why a young person might express the latter sentiment (albeit unjustly), I find it difficult to see how anyone could accuse Jesus of being a "wowser" (more).

Cast your nets
Extract from The Tablet, Thursday 7 October 2010

For the four days of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain it seemed at times as if the heart of the nation was beating with that of the Catholic Church. The Pope spoke with his wisdom, humanity and obvious affection; the British responded with an unexpectedly warm welcome – and it was not just practising Catholics who reacted so warmly. Now, in these days after the visit, there are enormous opportunities for the Churches in Britain to respond to the obvious spiritual thirst of our people (more).

Pittsburgh priest honours seal of confession, removed from ministry
Extract from National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 6 October 2010

A former student of the Rev. Mark Gruber has told both state police and canonical investigators that he downloaded pornography on the priest's computer. He says that Father Gruber knew that, but couldn't say so because he had sacramentally confessed that sin to the priest before the pornography was discovered (more).

Vatican's communication guru to speak in Darwin
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 5 October 2010

Monsignor Paul Tighe, who also established Pope2You online TV, a Vatican Facebook app, YouTube channel and an iPhone app, will talk at a public relations national conference at Darwin Convention Centre, said NT "We recognise that a church that does not communicate ceases to be a church," he said. "Communication of the Gospel must be at heart of the ministry of a priest." "Many young people today are not turning to traditional media like newspapers and magazines any more for information and entertainment," he said. "They are looking to a different media culture and this is our effort to ensure that the Church is present in that communication culture." (more)

Irish archbishops summoned to Rome
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 30th September 2010

Four of Ireland's archbishops will travel to Rome to meet apostolic visitors who have been appointed to their diocese in response to child sexual abuse revelations in the Irish Church (more).

French atheist denounces 'attack' on Church, Pope

Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 30th September 2010

A prominent French atheist and intellectual, Bernard-Henri Lévy, has come to the defence of the Church and Pope Benedict, saying Catholicism was "the most attacked religion in Europe" (more).

ACU joins Global Network for Public Theology
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 30 September 2010

Australian Catholic University (ACU) has joined the Global Network for Public Theology (GNPT), an academic research partnership made up of 24 universities who make theological contributions to public issues (more).

Diocese selling aged-care to cover costs, says newspaper
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 30 September 2010

The Maitland-Newcastle diocese is selling its aged-care assets in face of a "substantial" total compensation bill for clerical abuse, the Newcastle Herald reports (more).

Website Team away for 2.5 weeks - fewer updates
John Costa, Wednesday 15 September 2010 - Updated Saturday 17 Septembe
As the Website team will be in South Korea and China over the next two and a half weeks there may be fewer (remotely published) updates than usual during that period and fewer email bulletins to those on our by-request mailing list. Update - Deciding not to carry a laptop our Website team is so far having to rely on compters and software using languages other than English hence updates will be even less frequent.

Book-burning shelved, it's time to commit atheists to the flames
Extract from, Anson Cameron, The Age, Wednesday September 15, 2010

In scenes of calm bemusement not seen in the lower United States since John Scopes taught innocent schoolchildren evolution, it was reported yesterday that Pastor Terry Jones had given up on his plans to burn 200 Korans and was instead planning to incite atheists by soaking a gross of Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion in moonshine and putting a match to them (more).

Church rules on funeral rites and wrongs
Extracts from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Tuesday 14 September 2010

Commonsense should prevail, not an inflexible list of negative guidelines.....Praise may be in and burials out, but funerals were back in the news at the weekend, after it became known that the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne had republished its guidelines on its website last month, noting that the service must not be a secular celebration of the life of the deceased and banning football club songs....(more).

Footy club songs banned from Catholic funerals
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 10 September 2010

Footy club songs and popular music have been banned in a set of Catholic funeral guidelines sent by Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart to priests and funeral directors (more).
Mosque deal denied as evangelist abandons Koran bonfire
Extract from Simon Mann, Washington, The Age, Friday 10 September 2010

THE evangelical Christian pastor from Florida who was threatening to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday’s ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks has abandoned his plan. Pastor Terry Jones announced his decision after claiming that he had received assurances that a mosque and Muslim cultural centre planned for a site two blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan would be relocated (more).

Church must abandon canon law: Geoffrey Robertson
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 9 September 2010

UK-based barrister Geoffrey Robertson says the church must be pressured to abandon canon law, and that the Vatican should be treated as a kind of "rogue state". The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr Roberston is arguing that the Catholic Church is the only religion permitted under international law to claim the privileges of statehood and its leaders immunity from civil or criminal action (more).

US religious leaders denounce 'anti-Muslim frenzy'
Extract from Simon Mann, Washington, The Age,Thursday 9 September 2010

American religious leaders have condemned the plans of a small evangelical Christian church in Florida to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday's ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. The leaders also denounced what they said was a gathering ''anti-Muslim frenzy'' in America, describing recent protests against the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York as the result of ''misinformation and outright bigotry'' against American Muslims (more).

New model for bringing Catholic communities together to talk about Faith
John Costa plus Edited Extracts from Virginia Small Australian Catholics, Friday 3 September 2010

This Parish has been focusing on improving "communication" over recent years, including the use of this Website, Multimedia, weekly eNews, interactive Video, and exploring other exciting possibilities. It is very supportive of The Broken Bay Institute's series of e-conferences that are giving the Catholic Church a new model for bringing communities together to talk about faith..... Technology has infiltrated not just our routines but our means of learning and understanding about each other. Now, Catholic organisations are exploring ways we can use it to grow spiritually, too....The Third International E-Conference was held on 18 May this year, linking 30,000 participants across the nation live. But its reach was global, with participants in India, Ireland, Nigeria, Venezuela, New Zealand, Canada, Ghana, Singapore—and one Mercy sister in Peru....The next e-conference, ‘Jesus the Christ’, is on Thursday 16 September. The keynote speaker is Professor Gerald O’Collins SJ (more).  Photo from the current issue of Australian Catholics, Spring 2010

Parish History addition
John Costa, Friday 3 September 2010

When Nina McPherson, Merle Gilbo and I were labouring over production of the Parish History during the last three years we kept searching and asking for additional content, but apart  from our archives little more was forthcoming. Now that "A Brief History of the  Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe" has been produced we are receiving more and more historical snippets and anecdotes, including a history of the St Vincent de Paul group at Mother of God Church. Amongst other information we also recently received a rare rear view photograph of the old Mary Immaculate Church, then known as Immaculate Conception.This photo can now be seen on this Website's Parish History page.

Same-sex adoption bill passes NSW lower house
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 3 September 2010

A NSW bill to allow same-sex couples equal rights as heterosexual couples under adoption law passed narrowly in the NSW Legislative Assembly yesterday (more).

Music in and from the Parish
John Costa, Friday 3 September 2010

This parish is rich in vocal and instrumental musical talent. Music samples from a soon-to -be released CD "If You Listen" by Alan Pollard and friends can be heard on this Website's Music page. The CD will be launched at Mother of God Church East Ivanhoe on Sunday October 3rd with all profits going to CARITAS and sales being handled through the Parish Office.

Hawking: God did not create Universe
Extract from BBC News, Thursday 2 September 2010

There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking has said. He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science but in a new book, he concludes the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics. The Grand Design, part serialised in the Times, says there is no need to invoke God to set the Universe going."Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something," he concluded (more).

Gay/lesbian Christians criticise UK Pope protesters
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 2 September 2010

Gay and lesbian Christians in Britain have criticised protest plans by secularists during Pope Benedict's visit this month.The papal critics are voicing their opposition to this month's state visit for a variety of reasons, including the Vatican's rejection of equal rights for homosexuals.. The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) said it wanted the critics to "disagree with respect", reports The Guardian.....The LGCM said it would hold a
prayer vigil, not a protest, so the pope could see the faces of those he spoke against, and become aware that his "homophobic comments affect real people" (more).

Man of faiths
Extract from Peter Kirkwood, Eureka Street. Wednesday 1 September 2010
Last Thursday, at 4.15pm local time, in the beautiful village of Tavertet in the north of Spain, a great man. Raimon Panikkar,  died. Other theological luminaries have called him ‘a pioneer of inter-religious dialogue', ‘one of the world's most important philosophers of religion', ‘a true spiritual giant of our times'.....A good summary of the significance of Panikkar comes from the late American theologian Ewert Cousins. He argued we are in a period of deep change in religion, and used the term ‘mutation' in history to refer to times when there is a quantum leap forward. He saw the era of globalisation since World War II as bringing about such a mutation into a ‘global matrix of cultures'. He saw Panikkar as being at the forefront of this transformation, that he was already living in this new future.....(more). Subscription to Eureka Street (here) is free.

Defrocking starts for US priest living with teen
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 1 September 2010
                                                              The Vatican has begun proceedings to defrock a priest in Philadelphia who is allegedly in a relationship and accused of having a child, after the local district attorney decided not to charge him (more).

Web streaming from our Churches?
John Costa, Friday 27 August

Two years ago our Parish Communication Group started exploring the possibility of "streaming" some of the services/events from our Churches. This means that people from anywhere via their computer and Broadband Internet could remotely observe and listen to proceedings as they unfold. We spoke with a Baptist Church at Glen Waverley who were successfully streaming their service to a country church where there was no Minister. The technology for doing this is readily available and increasingly being used in all sorts of places. Watch this space for further news about streaming from St Patrick's Cathedral, and perhaps elsewhere.

Children’s Liturgy returns!
Pastoral Associate (Amanda), Friday 27 August 2010  
Children’s Liturgy will resume in the Parish, once a month at each church.  Please help publicise this by telling people who might be interested. The first Children’s Liturgy sessions will be on: Sunday 5th September at Mary Immaculate 9 am and Sunday 5th September at Mother of God 10.30 am

Doctors' religion affects time of death
Extract from Julia Medew, The  Age, Friday 27 August 2010

Non-religious doctors are more likely to make decisions that could hasten a terminally ill patient's death than are religious doctors, a new study suggests. A survey of 4000 British doctors found that those who described themselves as ''very'' or ''extremely'' non-religious were twice as likely as religious doctors to have provided deep sedation until death, even if it could speed up the patient's dying process (more).

Mother Teresa remembered, 100 years on
Extracts from The Age (AFP), Thursday 26 August 2010

Macedonia and neighbouring Albania honoured Mother Teresa today on the 100th anniversary of her birth in Skopje, now in Macedonia, to Albanian parents....."Mother Teresa is a humanist in every possible way and she is moving others to follow her path and devote their lives to humanity,".... Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003, after being fast-tracked by the Vatican, but her elevation to sainthood is still awaiting proof of a medical miracle (more). (Ed. Meanwhile New York is still debating whether to illuminate the Empire State Building in her honour at this time)

Drug mule Scott Rush appeals for mercy
Extracts from The  Australian, Thursday 26 August 2010

Bali Nine drug courier Scott Rush has pleaded for his life at his final appeal against the death penalty . “I wish to say to you, my parents, my family, and the community, how sorry I am for the crime that I have committed and the pain that I have caused,” Rush said, reading out his statement in a clear, calm voice.... “I have brought much shame upon myself and my family. I have a deep sense of guilt for what I have done,” Rush said....“I accept that I am a criminal, not a celebrity. I accept that I am deserving of just punishment...“I pray that I may be given a chance to show my remorse and to give back to the community in a practical way.” (more).

New deacons point to steady flow of priests in Perth
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 26 August 2010

Five men were ordained to the Diaconate at Mary MacKillop Parish, in Ballajura, Western Australia, last week, by Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey, who called on them to take "the Word out into the world beyond the doors of the Church" (more).

Vatican approves new US missal
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 26 August 2010

The Holy See has given its final approval to a new English translation of the Roman Missal for the US."There is a tremendous, tremendous, tremendous amount of work still ahead of us" before publication of the missal that will go into use on the first Sunday of Advent in 2011, Msgr. Anthony Sherman, director of the US bishops' Secretariat of Divine Worship, told CNS (more  and see "Decree on Implementation", below 20 August).

ACU Vice-Chancellor's warning over political uncertainty
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 25 August 2010

Political uncertainty is casting a pall over anticipated growth by universities, with Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven warning that any reneging on uncapping places could be disastrous, due to a looming drop in international enrolments (more).

Church denies involvement in IRA bomber priest cover-up
Extracts fromn Catholic News, Wednesday 25 August 2010

A long-awaited report by the police ombudsman for Northern Ireland has confirmed suspicions that a priest was involved in an IRA operation in 1972, in which three car bombs killed nine and injured 30. ........But the Church has denied involvement in any cover-up (more).

1st Eucharist celebrations
Sunday 22 August

Around this time the Parish is celebrating 1st Eucharist for children from each of our Schools. It is uplifting observing the impact of the occasion and the delight on faces of the children concerned, not to mention families and friends (more photos on the Liturgy page).

 Rest for the non-wicked
John Costa, Saturday 22 August 2010

Fr John and Fr Len (retired) will be absent for a few weeks of well deserved holiday.The Parish Leadership Team and its Executive will guide and be responsible for the running of the Parish. Whilst the Parish will extend its use of visiting priests during this period each of our Churches is prepared if necessary to conduct Eucharist Services in place of Mass, as each has had to do recently when no priest was available. This situation was predicted many years ago by former Parish Priest of then Mary Immaculate Parish, Fr Len Egan, and by others since, and may become more common in future. It's a perfect opportunity for more people to become partners with the Parish or Visiting Priest in serving our Faith Community. We wish Frs John and Len a very good holiday! (Photo:Frs John and Len with others at Easter Vigil Mass 2008)

Ground Zero Mosque
Extracts from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Friday 20 August 2010
Friday 20 August 2010

The New York archbishop is underlining the need for civil, respectful dialogue as controversy heats up over plans for building an Islamic center near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks....."My major prayer is that what has turned into somewhat of a divisive issue might develop into an occasion of very civil, rational, loving, respectful discussion," he affirmed (more).

Jesuits open new shelter in Manly and launch Pakistan appeal

Extract from Catholic News, Friday 20 August 2010

Jesuit Refugee Service Australia has opened a large new shelter in Sydney's Manly, which will house asylum seekers and offer a temporary place to live for those already granted protection visas (more).

Decree on Implementation of the New Translation of the Roman Missal
The Implementation begins on the First Sunday of Advent November 27, 2011
Extract from Deacon Keith Fournier, Catholic Online, Friday 20 August 2010

How the Church worships is a prophetic witness to the truth of what she professes. Good worship becomes a dynamic means of drawing the entire human community into the fullness of life in Jesus Christ. It attracts - through beauty to Beauty. Worship informs and transforms both the person and the faith community which participates in it. There is reciprocity between worship and life. We are pleased to present the Press Release of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the implementation of the long awaited revisions to the Roman Missal (more).

Spontaneity is an essential part of Liturgy
Extracts from Grayson Warren Brown, National Catholic Reporter, Friday 20 August 2010

John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” I ask congregations what this world would be like if everyone who walks through these doors today said, “I am not here today, God, to ask what you can do for me. I am here to ask, ‘What can I do for you?’ Here I am, Lord.”......The church has to understand that if you are saying, particularly to minorities, “You either accept this or go somewhere else,” what is happening is we are going somewhere else. We have to stand up and talk about this stuff. When you say, “Because you’re a woman, you cannot be this or that,” you better have some really good reasons.....(more)

Fourth Parish Youth Leader!
Friday 13 August 2010

The Parish is fortunate in now having four outstanding Youth Leaders with the recent appointment of Daniel Lancefield. There are now two Youth Leaders for the Senior youth group (currently Years 8-10) and with Daniel now two also for the Junior youth group (years 6-7). Daniel was formerly a student at MOG School and is a graduate of Latrobe Uni and the Australian Catholic University. This is his first year as a teacher (RE, Humanities & Personal Development), of Year 7-10 students at Antonine Sisters College, Trinity Campus, Brunswick. Daniel joins fellow Youth Leaders Alison, Tom and Annette.  Further details on the Website Youth page.

Cremation by water approved by Church
Extract from Catholic News. Friday 13 August 2010

The world's first water cremation centre on the Gold Coast is offering a liquid alternative to cremation and burial, using a process it hopes will revolutionise the funeral industry - and the process has been approved by the Catholic Church (more).

Greed is still ‘good’
Business ethics and ethical investment
Edited Extract from Opinion Piece by Chris Blackhurst, The Tablet, Thursday 12 August 2010

(with resonance in Australia)..this week has seen major British banks bouncing back into the black and reporting billions in half-year profits. Nearly three years on from precipitating the worst financial crisis since 1929, what have the bankers learned? Precious little, it seems... (more)

Wanted: women of spirit in our own time
Extract from Opinion Piece by Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 11 August 2010

....What shall we think about such a time as this when the women religious who have built, carried, led and staffed every work of the church from the earliest days of this nation to this present time of turbulence and transition are being accused of being unorthodox, unfaithful, and unfit to make adult decisions about what they need to hear and who they want to have say it? The problem is that in the face of opposition they have also been unafraid...(more)

Vatican welcomes US plaintiffs' decision to end abuse lawsuit
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 11 August 2010

While underlining its condemnation of "the horror" of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, the Vatican welcomed as "good news" the imminent end of a lawsuit against the Holy See in a U.S. court (more).

Without women priests, Catholics miss out on ministry
Extract from Opinion Piece by Bill Tameus, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 11 August 2010

....But sometimes I wonder if Catholics know what they’re missing by not having female priests. Yes, Catholics get a sense of ministry by women through the often remarkable work of women religious. But even that is different from authorizing women to engage in the full range of ministry, including administering the sacraments...(more)

Australian Church condemns ‘anti-immigrant’ electioneering
Extract from Mark Brolly, The Tablet, Saturday 7 August 2010

Catholic church leaders have launched a fierce attack on the anti-immigration policies of the main parties ahead of federal elections on 21 August.
In a campaign in which both main parties are promising to cut drastically the number of migrants allowed to settle in Australia, Catholic bishops have described the country as “underpopulated”(more).

More from the Parish Dinner Dance
Friday 6 August 2010

A small sample of additional photographs from a very large number taken by the Chiera family at the Parish Dinner Dance on 24th July have been added to those previously published in the "70 Years - Parish Dinner Dance 2010" album on this website's "Photo Gallery" (here). They are best viewed as a "Slideshow". Photo: Frs Len Thomas, Joseph Mari Youn and John Cunningham.

Pope Benedict had wanted to become librarian
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 6 August 2010

Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger, had requested to quit and serve as archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and as a librarian of the Vatican Library 13 years ago, but it was turned down by Pope John Paul II (more).

New evidence about St Peter's prison
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 5 July 2010

Tradition holds that St Peter was jailed in Rome's maximum security Mamertine Prison before he was crucified upside down and buried on the hill where St Peter's Basilica was later built. And now after recent excavations in Rome's oldest prison, archaeologists say they have uncovered evidence that, while not providing direct proof, does support that belief (more).

Women's ordination and other crimes of passion
Extract from Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, Thursday 5 August 2010

The Vatican came briefly into public view recently when a document seemed to make the ordination of women equivalent to paedophilia among priests. A Vatican spokesman later said that no equivalence was intended. Paedophilia was a crime against morality. To participate in the ordination of women was a crime against faith. The view that the ordination of women in the Catholic Church is a crime against faith bears some reflection....(more). Subscription to Eureka Street (here) is free.

Soccer at Sunday lunch is an 'invasion': Vatican
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 5 August 2010

The Vatican has denounced a 12:30pm Sunday fixture in the upcoming Serie A Italian football season as an invasion into private family time..... "I consider this a truly harmful development," said Monsignor Carlo Mazza in Italian sport newspaper, Tuttosport. "Putting people in front of the television screen at 12:30pm, when they are having lunch with their families, to me seems like a pitch invasion on life." (more)

New Vatican leader 'extremely positive' on women
Extract from John L Allen Jnr, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 4 August 2010

Saying he hopes to offer the Vatican a "different picture" of women religious in the United States, Rome's new number two official for religious life says he suspects the choice of an American for that job, and one known to be sympathetic to women religious, may reflect awareness of "just how badly" a controversial Vatican investigation of women's orders has been received (more).

Tim Fischer to quit as Vatican ambassador
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 4 August 2010

Former deputy Prime Minister and Australian ambassador to The Vatican, Tim Fischer, will quit the role after his three-year term, he said during a visit to the South Australian town of Penola. "I want to return home and to my family farm and slow down," Mr Fischer, who was deputy prime minister in the Howard government from 1996 to 1999, told The Australian. He was appointed ambassador to the Holy See in 2008 (more).

Jesus the Christ eConference coming soon
Edited Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 4 August 2010

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Broken Bay Institute are expecting thousands across the country and the globe to participate in an upcoming Jesus the Christ eConference on September 16.It will be presented by Rev Professor Gerald O'Collins SJ. "Professor O'Collins has a worldwide reputation as an excellent lecturer, and one who is able to push the boundaries of theological speculation and knowledge. His presentation on Jesus as Fully Human and Truly Divine will tackle key theological questions at the heart of the faith", said the statement (more). Venue and time details will be provided shortly.

Federal judge overturns California same sex marriage ban
Extract from Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday 4 August 2010

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that a federal judge in San Francisco today struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution. The news comes seven months after the trial was held in January and nearly two years after the controversial measure, known as Proposition 8, was backed by voters in November 2008 (more).

Church Authority and Conscience
Extract from commentary by Fr Dan Donovan, Catholica, Monday 2 August 2010

....Without conscience then in what would faith obedience be grounded? Or would the consent of faith to proposed Church teachings be considered as something akin to political or military obedience, an "impersonal observance of orders." This is hardly, the response which Jesus intended when he poured out his Spirit upon his disciples and gifted them with free will....(more)

Catalyst for renewal
Extract from a review of recent news and coming events

Catalyst Digest is a venture of Catalyst for Renewal whose role is to encourage vigorous conversation  among Catholics and members of the wider community.  To this end, Catalyst arranges a number of forums each year that focus on issues facing their church and society in general. The digest is published at irregular intervals to keep friends of Catalyst in touch with its activities and with other relevant issues.....(more)

Opinion - Genuine welfare policies wanted
Extracts from Catholic News, Friday 30 July 2010

In June the Government passed a bill extending blanket welfare quarantining from a handful of trial sites to the entire Northern Territory and then across the country.....Yet the lack of substantial welfare policy in the election campaign so far suggests the social services sector will be expected to go to the polls without knowing what the major parties plan to do to address long term unemployment and poverty (more).

PM's atheism could cost her votes, Perth Archbishop says
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 30 July 2010
Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey has suggested Julia Gillard's atheism could cost her votes, but Tony Abbott's "strong Christian faith" could benefit him (more).

Ordination of bishops in China signals shift
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 29 July 2010

Twice in the span of a few days, L'Osservatore Romano  has given extensive coverage to two new episcopal consecrations that took place in China, the first on July 10 and the second on July 15. The texts of both new stories, because of their delicacy from a diplomatic point of view, were not composed in the newsroom but directly in the offices of the Vatican secretariat of state.Both, in fact, demonstrate a shift in the sequence of episcopal ordinations in that country (more).

Pope's children's book ignores women, says advocacy group
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday July 29, 2010

British advocacy group We Are Church claims Pope Benedict highlighted only male disciples his new children's book, The Friends of Jesus, saying it implied women are second-class citizens in the Christian religion (more).

ACU theologians awarded inaugural fellowship
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Monday 26 July 2010

Two Australian Catholic University (ACU) academics have been honoured as inaugural Fellows of the Australian Catholic Theological Association (ACTA). Rev Professor Anthony Kelly CSsR and Rev Professor Gerald O’Collins SJ were recognised for their outstanding contributions to theological education over a sustained period, and exemplary service to the disciplines of theology and Church (more).

70 Years of the Ivanhoe Parish
Saturday 24 July 2010

Tonight's Parish Dinner Dance was a fitting way to celebrate the 70th year of this Parish. As part of this highly enjoyable evening, Paul McEvey's "interview" of recently retired Fr Len Thomas was a highlight, as was the launch of "A Brief History of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe". Fr Len spoke of the Parish as being a very successful partnership between lay people and priests, and said that people have been as much healers and ministers as the priests. In launching the Brief History John Costa said that a clear message from the last 70 years is that people and priests together have put their whole selves into the Parish in love and shared faith, in the hope that future generations of this community would continue to work together in supporting, strengthening and benefiting from this faith community.Congratulations to Paul and his helpers for organising this event. Further photos can be seen on the Photo Gallery page.

"Moving Forward" noisily, or silent Good News stories

Friday 23 July 2010
On the surface the world, including that of  churches, is often alarming or disappointing. While bad news sells papers and air-time good news rarely does. However behind the scenes and evident in many places, including our Parish, are the 'invisible' people, clergy and lay people, who selflessly devote much time, effort and emotional energy  supporting those who are dying, ill, lonely, hungry, unsure or confused. Recently we learned that the reason a person in our Parish was contributing so much to the Parish by way of voluntary work was because the Parish had previously supported her and her husband during his terminal illness, and her since his death.  As they say there are very many such silent stories in our Parish, and this is but one of them. Image: Flickr, Matt N Johnson

"A Brief History of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe"
John Costa, Friday 23 July 2010

Seventy years in the making, decades in contemplation, years in preparation, and now at last here it is. Whilst it is indeed a very "Brief" history it does at least capture the essence of the strong spirit behind each of the former Parishes of Ivanhoe, and now The Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. It will be officially launched at the Parish Dinner Dance on Saturday. All of this for just $30, and bound colour copies may be ordered for this price. Those who have chosen to join the Parish email list (you can join here at no cost) will shortly be able to download an electronic copy for free. Others who would like a copy but can't avail themselves of these options may enquire from a member of the Leadership Team Executive.

Elegy for a priestly life
Extracts from Andrew Hamilton Eureka Street, Book Review "By Wendouree, memories 1951-1963"- John Molony, 23 July 2010

"By Wendouree" describes Molony's years of post-graduate study in Rome and his exploration of the Catholic movements that flowered in the Vatican Council. The story concludes with his resignation from the priesthood some years after returning to pastoral ministry in Ballarat......But the personal story retains its interest, and Molony illuminates many aspects of the larger history of his times. In particular he experienced the vitality of the Catholic movements that flourished after the 1939 war. The Jocist movement led by Joseph Cardijn that animated the Young Christian Workers and Young Christian Students movements in Australia was particularly significant in his life (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free

Vatican: parishes can be closed for good of diocese
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 22 July 2010

The Vatican has confirmed that parishes can be closed for the overall good of a diocese or archdiocese, as in the case of nine parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston. Boston began in 2004 a process of reconfiguration, citing "declining numbers of clergy, changing Catholic demographics and significant financial pressures" as causes for closing some of its parishes. Nevertheless, parishioners of some of the parishes appealed the decision, taking their case first to the Congregation for Clergy and then to the Apostolic Signatura. The archdiocese announced in January 2006 that the Congregation for Clergy had denied the 10 appeals that were presented (more).

Feudal Catholic church at risk, says theologian
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Thursday 22 July 22, 2010

The Roman Catholic Church is the last feudal institution in the Western world, a mediaeval bastion of secrecy and privilege that cannot survive in the modern world, according to a visiting theologian.As the church is shaken to its foundations by the clergy abuse scandals - with the lid to be lifted in Asia next - bishops are vainly trying to maintain their plummeting credibility through authoritarian control, Donald Cozzens of John Carroll University, Ohio, said in Melbourne yesterday (more).

Beneath the child abuse scandal
Extract from National Catholic Reporter,Tuesday 22 July 2010

Many people, including bishops, date and lable the "Crisis in the Catholic Church" to Jan. 6, 2002 when The Boston Globe  began publishing its series about sexual abuse of minors by priests and revealing the conspiracy of bishops in covering up crimes. That was the flash point of a worldwide scandal. The crisis it epitomizes is more profound (more).

Women's Fellowship
Extract from Media Release, National Office for the Participation of Women, Thursday 22 July 2010

The Office for the Participation of Women, an agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in collaboration with Australian Catholic University has announced the fourth Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship which will run between January and May 2011 in Canberra (more).

Catholic social teaching finds church leadership lacking
Extracts from Bishop Kevin Dowling, National Catholic Reporter, Retro-published 22 July  from Original of July 8 2010

.....What happened.....bore the marks of a medieval royal court, not the humble, servant leadership modeled by Jesus. But it seems to me that this is also a symbol of what has been happening in the church especially since pope John Paul II became the Bishop of Rome and up till today -- and that is "restorationism," the carefully planned dismantling of the theology, ecclesiology, pastoral vision, indeed the "opening of the windows" of Vatican II -- in order to "restore" a previous, or more controllable model of church through an increasingly centralized power structure; a structure which now controls everything in the life of the church through a network of Vatican congregations led by cardinals who ensure strict compliance with what is deemed by them  to be "orthodox." Those who do not comply face censure and punishment, e.g. theologians who are forbidden to teach in Catholic faculties (more).

Also see "A Fear-Based Church?: Why So Many Catholics Are Afraid to Speak Out" - Rev James Martin S.J. (here)

No Priest but Celebration of the Word goes on
Sunday 11 July, 2010

Recently in Ivanhoe Parish when no priest arrived for the Saturday 6:00pm Mass a service proceeded. When the same occurred at a 10:30am Sunday Mass a service again proceeded smoothly, and again today this happened at the 9:30am Mass. There was no fuss as "plan B" was again put into effect at the very last minute this morning. Although without Priest and therefore Consecration and Homily  it wasn't a Mass, it turned out to be a satisfying Celebration of the Word and Eucharist. The congregation didn't hide its delight with what happened under the circumstances. Having prepared for the growing likelihood of such occurrences and having volunteers on hand made all this possible. Thanks Merle and others! Additionally an uplifting presentation at the end of the Service by Leo McInerney on success of the Catholic Trade School initiative in the Western suburbs, and separate details by John Costa on the now completed Parish History Project well illustrated the increasingly important role of parishioners in the Catholic Church today. How well this related to today's Gospel reading. Significantly these occurrences highlight what has been said for some time now, but that some people have until recently found hard to believe the reality of declining Priest numbers and the need for others to respond accordingly. Our opportunistic iPhone photographer captured this morning's significant event.

Thank you Ivanhoe: Fr Len
Thursday 1 July 2010

Very many people thanked Fr Len at his recent retirement, and now in turn Fr Len thanks the people of Ivanhoe Parish. His words can be read in this week's Parish Newsletter. Additionally, in a brief video produced by the Parish Communication Group Fr Len takes the opportunity to speak of his retirement, and future, and more directly to thank the people of Ivanhoe whose friendship and support he has valued over the last 11 years. The short Video will be shown after 9:00am Mass at Mary Immaculate on Sunday 4th July (also Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Sunday), and at a later date at the other Parish churches.

Au Revoir Pat,
Thursday 1 July 2010

Pat (Patricia)  Jones has retired from her parish role of Community Liaison Officer. The Parish has greatly benefited from Pat's innovation, vision and bright personality. Pat was a key driver for much of the fund-raising that has resulted in some of the Parish multimedia facilities, and has been active in Outreach, Wellbeing, and in various ways with the Young peoples' group. In keeping with her supportive spirit Pat has offered to voluntarily assist the Parish from time to time, including helping to arrange food for the Young Peoples' Group. We thank Pat for all her inspiration, hard work and enthusiasm, and wish her well for the future, and her role as civil celebrant.

Faith welfare groups slam both parties over mental health
Extract from CatholicNews, Thursday 22 July, 2010

Catholic Social Services Australia, along with Anglicare, The Salvation Army and Uniting Care, have expressed reservations about the federal government's $50 billion health reform plan, pointing out poor mental health policies on both sides of the political divide.
"We are concerned that the Labor government isn't committed to acting with the urgency needed on community mental health, nor in the spirit of collaboration that we would wish," the groups said in a joint media statement (more).

Vatican's announcement shows "great incompetence"
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Saturday 17 July 2010

It used to be said of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. It could certainly apply to the Vatican with the announcement linking women's ordination and paedophile abuse as grave crimes (more).

New Missal due last half of 2011
Extracts from Rev Peter Williams, Catholic Diocese of Paramatta, Friday 16 July 2010

In the last half of 2011 we will begin using a new translation of the Roman Missal, which was recently approved by the Holy See.It has been a long process to get to this point, which began after the publication of the third edition of the Missal in Latin in 2002.....This Missal contains the texts for the Order of Mass, Solemnities and Feast Days of Saints, the Proper of Seasons, and Masses for Various Needs and Occasions and Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead..... Added to this will be specific Australian observances like the Feast of Mary MacKillop, Australia Day and Anzac Day (more).

Women's ordination among 'most serious crimes': Vatican
Extracts from Catholic News, Friday 16 July 2010

The Vatican has labelled the ordination of women  among the "most serious crimes" and a "crime against the faith". The new rules put attempts at the ordination of women among the "most serious crimes", along with pedophilia, said an AFP report in the Sydney Morning Herald (more).

Mutiny rumblings among senior Australian Catholic clergy
Edited Extracts from Noel Debien, ABC Religion and Ethics, Friday 16 Jul 2010

.....There were many times during this weeks' conference (2010 Australian National Council of Catholic Priests) .... where the(re was) an emotional foment like that in pre 1789 Paris just before revolution seemed palpable. The 250 or so clergy and bishops had come from all over Australasia, and they were listening to speakers including American priest-author Donald Cozzens - who has been writing and speaking internationally on the roots of crisis in the Catholic church and priesthood for over a decade....... If there had been any pulling of punches early on in this week's conference, the gloves were well and truly off by the third day. Though I have heard much of what was said before in other places, I have never heard it all said in front of 250 Catholic clergy and five Australian bishops. I have never heard it said so strongly or clearly (more).

Marching orders: The General Synod and women bishops
Extracts from The Tablet, Friday 16 July, 2010, Sam Adams

Traditionalists in the Church of England,  are contemplating their next move after the General Synod voted against making any formal provision for them when women bishops are ordained. Do they cross the Tiber or stay to fight on?....The Church of England has always prided itself on its inclusiveness and its ability to accommodate a wide range of often conflicting views under one big tent. But for four days last weekend, the age-old policy failed when the General Synod met in the bleak concrete bowl of the University of York’s Central Hall to decide upon the ordination of women bishops (more).

"Travelling With Paul"
Amanda Smith (Pastoral Associate), Thursday 16 July 2010  

The Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe book club / study group is commencing on Thursday July 29th 11 am – 12.30 at the Parish Office.  It will be held same time each week to journey through the The Acts of the Apostles.  Details will be sent to those who have put their names down – and there’s still time to join!!  Contact Amanda on 9499 1515 or

Vatican revises church law on sex abuse
Extract from John L Allen Jr, National Catholic Reporter Thursday 15 July 2010

In the latest chapter of the Vatican's attempt to come to grips with the sexual abuse crisis, Pope Benedict XVI has approved a set of revisions to church law which are touted by the Vatican as a major contribution to "rigor and transparency," while derided by critics as "mere tweaking." For the most part, Vatican sources said, the revisions consolidate existing practice rather than marking a dramatic new approach. (more)

Anglican split looms after vote on female bishops
Extract from John Burns, The Age, Monday 12 July 2010

The Church of England moved another step closer to an unbridgeable schism between traditionalists and reformers at the weekend when its General Synod rejected a bid by the Archbishop of Canterbury to strike a compromise over the ordination of female bishops aimed at preserving the increasingly fragile unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion (more).

Election year mental health test
Extract from Simon Rice. Eureka Street, Monday July 12, 2010

Australia's mental health system is in crisis. As the issue continues to gain attention it will no doubt become politicised in this election year. Ongoing advocacy and lobbying from esteemed psychiatrist and Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry, and the high profile resignation of Professor John Mendoza from the National Advisory Council on Mental Health have galvanised public opinion (more).

A Brief History of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe
After work over three years this "Brief History" will be officially launched at the Parish Dinner Dance on 24 July. A previous report on this website indicates the three ways this document may be acquired. For your ready access the Parish Leadership Team Executive has just set the price for the hard copy version at below real cost for $30. Orders are now being taken for the hard copy version. The document will also be available free for download by those who are registered (or become registered via the website here) on the Parish email list. Image: Flickr, Adrienne

East Timor a not-so-simple solution
Extract from Jack de Groot, Eureka Street, Friday July 09, 2010

November to March in East Timor is the hungry season. It is a time when more than 42 per cent of the country's one million people experience severe food shortages. East Timor is mired in poverty. On the most recent Human Development Index it ranks at 162, coming in between Benin and Cote d'Ivoire, giving it the inauspicious title of the 20th poorest country in the world (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free. Subscribe here.

Jesuit school plans for Aboriginal children in Redfern
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 8 July 2010

The NSW Board of Studies has granted initial registration for a new, tuition-free Jesuit primary school for Aboriginal children, set to open in Sydney's Redfern next year. Named Jarjum - which means 'children' in the Aboriginal Bundjalung language - the school will be sponsored by St Aloysius' on behalf of the Jesuit Province."The formation of children in this school will be intensive and holistic," said Fr Jones. "Jarjum will be for children who need it most, those experiencing greater disadvantage, those who, through no fault of their own, have slipped through the system." (more)

The strengths and shortcomings of Church apologies
Extract from Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, Thursday 8 July, 2010

Archbishop Denis HartLast weekend Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart published a letter of apology for sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Melbourne Catholic Church. It was read aloud in most local churches. It followed similar letters by bishops in other Catholic churches around the world (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free. Subscribe here.

Christian Brethren sued for barring camp to gay group
Extracts from Selma Milovanovic, The Age, Thursday 8 July 2010

Cobaw Community Health Service is seeking compensation from Christian Youth Camps Ltd, claiming its decision to refuse members of its Way Out project to camp at a Phillip Island resort in 2007 discriminated against the young people based on their sexual orientation. In a case that raises controversial exemptions from the Equal Opportunity Act relating to religious groups, a tribunal heard the trouble began when Way Out project co-ordinator Sue Hackney googled accommodation at Phillip Island for 60 rural youth and 12 support workers (more).

Analyst says Australians unfazed by PM's atheism
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 2 July 2010

A social analyst has said that most Australians will not be bothered that new PM Julia Gillard's is not a religious believer, adding that her lapsed faith actually makes her “more representative of modern Australia” (more).

After the Apology: What now?
Extract from Australian Catholic Bishop's Conference, Thursday 1 July 2010

‘Where now?’ we might ask, more than a year after the Prime Minister’s Apology to the Stolen Generations. Can we still remember what he said on behalf of the nation at that time? Do we still have that feeling about what he said? What difference has the Apology made in our lives since then? (read full comment here) Editor: Parish Masses this weekend will acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday on 4 July, particularly using Multimedia at the 9:30am and 5:00pm Masses . Painting: Platypus Dreaming, by Boomanulla of the Wirradjuri tribe.

A Brief History of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe Completed

Thursday 1 July 2010  (updated 9 July)
At long last the Brief history of the Parish has been completed and will shortly be available! Although brief it poignantly highlights the commitment to Ivanhoe over the years by many priests and parishioners, initially as part of three Ivanhoe parishes, now the single Ivanhoe Parish. There are three ways to obtain a copy. The first is to purchase a bound colour-printed copy for $30. The second privileged way (free for download) is available solely to those who are registered members of the Parish eMail list (you can register via the website "Subscribe Parish Event Info" page of the website). The third for those unable to avail themselves of the first two options is to make special arrangements via the Parish Leadership Team. The Brief history will be officially launched at the Parish Dinner Dance on 24th July.

A Pastoral Letter on Sexual Abuse
To the people of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 1 July

Archbishop Denis Hart has prepared a Pastoral Letter for Distribution.  It begins "We are all painfully aware that our Church is now going through a terrible time of suffering and self-examination. The full extent of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and religious continues to emerge, not only here in Australia but throughout the world....". The letter will be read out at Masses this weekend. It may also be read, downloaded or viewed here.

US Supreme Court Denies Vatican Appeal
Thursday 1 July 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Vatican that would contest the decision of the lower courts in Oregon to allow the Holy See to be sued for transferring a known sex offender from Ireland to Chicago to Oregon (more).

Belgian Abuse Commission Shuts Down
Thursday 1 July 2010

After a raid that was denounced by Benedict XVI and resulted in the confiscation of confidential files, a commission to investigate sexual abuse by the clergy is shutting down (more).

Obama Honors 'Historic Step'
Extract from Tom Diemer, Politics Daily, US, Friday 25 July 2010

The White House congratulated new Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Thursday "on the historic step" of becoming that country's first female head of state."The United States and Australia enjoy a special and productive relationship and alliance that will continue to prosper under her leadership," President Obama's press office said (more).

Julia Gillard joins a list of female world leaders
Extract from Emine Saner, The Guardian, London, Friday 25 June 2010

When Julia Gillard became Australia's first female prime minister yesterday, she took her place beside 18 other elected women leaders worldwide. Though you may not have noticed it, we're enjoying an all-time high in the number of female prime ministers and presidents. Trinidad and Tobago got a female prime minister this month and Slovakia and Finland are likely to follow. Does this make any difference to women? (more)

Gillard assures Obama of Australian support in Afghanistan
Extract from Xinhua news, China, Friday 25 July 2010

Australian new Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Friday that she has talked with U.S. President Barack Obama over phone and offered her full support for the military campaign in Afghanistan (more).

Opinion - The coming 'Court of the Gentiles'
Extracts from Sandro Magister, Catholic News, Friday 25 June 2010

It was called for by Pope Ratzinger, by the name of "court of the gentiles." It will be inaugurated by his minister for culture, Archbishop Ravasi. It will be a place for dialogue with those far from God, the first act of a wider project of new evangelization....The idea of pope Joseph Ratzinger - according to whom the question of God is the "priority" of his pontificate - is to open a systematic dialogue with the men who are farthest from God, so that they may approach him "at least as Unknown." (more)

A fitting farewell
Sunday 21 June 2010

The con-celebration of priest-friends, the flute organ and Choir with John Caddy as soloist, the liturgy, the presence of many of Len's family and friends, the gospel readings, the other words that were spoken and the natural relaxed atmosphere all combined to make this a highly memorable farewell Mass.  Fr John's apt comments on Fr Len are thankfully recorded in the Mass Newsletter for today.  Fr Len's own reflection that he combined the old and the new was well understood by those present. And all that was before the informal get-together afterwards in the Cunningham Centre (St Bernadette's new School Hall)! Further photos from today are published on the Mass Times and Photo Gallery page. To Fr Len very best wishes - and thanks - from very many people in many places!

 Fr Len to be bid adieu on Sunday*

John Costa, Friday 18 June 2010
Eleven years of Fr Len Thomas as Priest-in-Residence within Ivanhoe Parish has left a strong imprint on many people within and outside the Parish. It has also been a reminder of the huge impact for good that priestly service in a very human as well as spiritual sense can bring in so many different ways. It is fitting perhaps that Fr Len's retirement coincides with conclusion of the "Year for Priests" in Rome. Fr Len's impact has been far from Roman, and very much in the real world of ordinary people, which Christ himself inhabited. To be able to represent Christ's mission so directly, so helpfully and in so human a form is perhaps the greatest accolade. When one of the Parish Website's reporters asked him if he could sum up in a single sentence his experience of the last eleven years Fr Len simply said that "I suppose for me that I realise how independent I could be  both as a priest living in a Parish and in my job of mental health".          * At St Bernadette's Church from 2:00 pm

Student wellbeing not an alien concept
Extracts from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Friday 18 June 2010

The third annual Catholic Schools Student Wellbeing Drama Festival was held across  Melbourne and Geelong in June, involving 41 Catholic schools and 1200 students. Each school performed for 10 minutes, tackling such themes as positive school relationships, resilience, positive decision making, positive school behaviour and community partnerships. The idea was to empower school communities to focus on student wellbeing; to promote school participation in the Arts; and to use drama as a way to explore issues relevant to students’ lives (more).

Mutual respect and obligation
Edited Extracts from Fr Bob Maguire, Blog, Friday 18 June 2010

What happened in Derry in 1972 was both unjustified and unjustifiable. Fourteen innocent people died as a result of that State’s collective injustice and immorality....An Australian soldier wasn’t prosecuted in Afghanistan recently because money compensation had been paid to an Afghani family which had suffered fatalities in an incident of reckless or culpable soldering.....BP has to provide billions of dollars to an independently managed trust fund to “do penance” for what now looks like culpable negligence while drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.....Looks like accountability is back in town, at least for the time being (more).

Pell ordains six for Sydney
Extracts from Catholic News, Friday 18 June 2010

Cardinal George Pell has ordained six men to the priesthood at St Mary's Cathedral, representing the largest group of ordinands in Sydney since 1983..... In his homily during the Ordination Mass, Cardinal Pell spelled out the attributes required of a priest - that they need to be "strong, wise and compassionate" and that they need to "do the hard things that their people need them to do." (more)

Quebec cardinal displaces Pell in Vatican rumour fest
Extracts from Catholic News, Friday 18 June 2010

The latest speculation suggests Cardinal Marc Ouellet will be the new become the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, not Cardinal George Pell, as earlier rumoured ..... Although Vatican insiders generally agreed that Cardinal Pell was the Pope's choice, more recent reports from Rome have indicated that the expected appointment faced opposition, and Cardinal Pell himself was said to be reluctant to leave his current post in Sydney (more).

Sistine ceiling could reveal Michelangelo the scientist
Extract from Nick Squires, The Age, Friday 18 June 2010

High Renaissance master Michelangelo concealed anatomical sketches in the robes and faces of the figures he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in a coded attack on the Church's disdain for science, researchers say (more).

Vinnies monitoring mental health proposed changes
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 16 June 2010

The St Vincent de Paul Society in NSW-ACT said that those afflicted with mental health problems now comprise their most common client group at the parish level. During the past 10 years, this group has overtaken the unemployed, and single parent families....Last year, Conference members throughout NSW assisted nearly 110,000 recipients of the Disability Support Pension (DSP), and Federal Government figures say roughly half of all DSP recipients (about 700,000 nationally) have a diagnosed mental illness, according to a Catholic Weekly report (more).

Social networking in the Parish
Amanda Smith, Pastoral Associate, Friday 11 June 2010

Social networking was discussed during last Sunday’s 5 pm Mass.   For most of its history, church has played a major role in social networking.  People went to church not only to attend Mass but to catch up with neighbours, meet people and share ideas.  Now a lot of that social networking happens on the internet.  So it’s good to see Ivanhoe Parish has coffee groups, dinner/dances, movie and card afternoons, bus trips, pizza evenings and soccer games. Church is communion and community.

Youth Alive
John Costa, Friday 11 June 2010

See photos from "Youth Mass for Everyone" and subsequent Young Peoples Group event last Sunday on the Parish youth group page.

Victorian bishop issues pastoral letter seeking discussion
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 11 June 2010

Bishop Christopher Prowse of the regional Victorian Diocese of Sale has released a pastoral letter aimed at promoting discussion on the future directions of the diocese, according to a diocesan media release. In the letter titled "Finding Home in Jesus", Bishop Christopher Prowse looks at the Catholic vision, pastoral initiatives, the missionary focus of the Church and evangelisation (more).

Church leaders to interrogate Rudd and Abbott
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 10 June 2010

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott address Christians and answer questions from Christian leaders, as part of a "Make it Count 2010" campaign in the lead up to the Federal election this year (more).

End of Year For priests -  priests must be "pious and docile
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 10 June 2010

The fundamental challenge for priests is to bring Christ to world, "with all of his love, with all of his demands", a Vatican official said, as the Year for Priests draws to a close....."They must be pious men. And consequently they must be docile. The priest is a servant. His life is not in his own hands but rather in the hands of another who is Christ, and in the hands of the Church, his spouse," he said (more).  

Am I Catholic enough?
Extract from Opinion Piece, Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, Thursday 10 June 2010

....Some who have commented on my articles in Eureka Street have asked why I do not address such central Catholic questions as abortion and gay marriage, why I do not defend Catholic teaching, and why I so often endorse minority left-wing causes. The implication is that I value my like-minded friends over my faith...(more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free.

Some parish joy and hope amidst the gloom
John Costa, Friday 4 June 2010

Helping to balance the gloom of daily media reports and other realities are some signs of joy and hope within our Parish. In the recent post Easter period and encompassing the liturgies and Confirmations at Pentecost, Trinity Sunday and The Body and Blood of Christ this weekend can be seen some uplifting signs in recent photos on the "Liturgy" page of this website. Add to that employment of a Pastoral Associate (Amanda), an additional Youth Leader (Annette), developments at our Primary schools and this weekend's 5:00pm "Youth Mass for Everyone" it's likely that further positive signs we will observed as well.

Friday 4 June 2010

The latest issue of Kairos is available from our Churches and amongst other reports features an article on preparing for Confirmation and an impressive front page cover photo of some of our Mary Immaculate school Confirmation candidates. Digital editions of past editions of Kairos are now viewable online here.

Spiralling costs raise doubts over Pope's visit to Britain

Extract from Catholic News, Friday 4 June 2010

Pope Benedict's Britain visit will cost the Church as much as A$24.6m twice an earlier estimate, and could lead to proposed events being scaled down or even cancelled (more).

Five million march for Corpus Christi in Brazil
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 4 June 2010

Nearly five million people marched through Sao Paulo in a traditional "March for Jesus" yesterday, marking the feast of Corpus Christi. It was touted as the biggest Catholic demonstration in the world (more).

Feature - Man who reminds us what it is to be human

Extracts from Catholic news (original National Catholic Reporter), Friday 4 June 2010

If one were to ask a central casting office in Hollywood to find someone to play a big-time spiritual guru with his own media empire, the choice probably wouldn’t look much like Fr Ron Rolheiser......He’s not concerned with the power of the pope or who gets to be a bishop, but with core human experiences such as loneliness, fear and restlessness, and how the spiritual resources of the Catholic tradition can help postmodern women and men cope (more).

Tasmanian Church's reverse missionaries solution
Extract from Eureka Street, Thursday 3 June 2010

Tasmania's Hobart Catholic Archdiocese is in crisis. Its priests are ageing, and their numbers dwindling. The congregations are, too — and dramatically so. The solution? In the words of the unofficial series tagline: 'Missionaries in reverse'....Three Nigerian priests, Fathers Felix, Christopher and Kene, are sent as missionaries to Australia's island state. After overcoming a fear that they will die from the cold, and enduring a month of 'enculturation' (they speak fluent English but struggle with Strine), each is posted to a remote corner of the state (more). Subscription to Eureka Street (here) is free

Catholics in Iran: A Community at Risk of Extinction?
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 2 June 2010

As Christians flee in great numbers from Iran, for both political and religious reasons, the country's Christian community is at real risk of extinction, says journalist and observer of Middle Eastern Churches, Camille Eid (more).

Vatican, Caritas condemn Israeli attack on aid flotilla
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 2 June 2010

The Vatican said a recent Israeli raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza, bearing aid for Palestinians, caused "unnecessary loss of human life", joining widespread condemnation of the attack (more).

Michelangelo's secrets revealed
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 2 June 2010

Michelangelo Buonarroti, known by his first name the world over as the singular artistic genius, sculptor and architect, was also an anatomist, a secret he concealed by destroying almost all of his anatomical sketches and notes. Now, 500 years after he drew them, his hidden anatomical illustrations have been found - painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, cleverly concealed from the eyes of Pope Julius II and countless religious worshippers, historians, and art lovers for centuries - inside the body of God (more).

Pope appoints Irish investigators
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 1 June 2010

Pope Benedict has appointed nine prelates, including the archbishops of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, and of New York, Timothy Dolan, to undertake an investigation into child abuse he had promised in a March pastoral letter to the Irish faithful. The pope invited "all the members of the Irish Catholic community to support this fraternal initiative" and hoped the investigation will be "an occasion of renewed fervor in the Christian life, and that it may deepen their faith and strengthen their hope," the Vatican statement said, according to an Associated Press report on Google News (more).

Scars from abuse cannot be hidden: Pope
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 28 May 2010

Pope Benedict has told Italian bishops that their evangelical mission "does not hide the wounds that scar the church community because of the weakness and the sin of some of its members", in an apparent reference to the sexual abuse scandals in the Church. Italy seemed to be spared by the series of sex abuse revelations rocking European and American churches in past months, but since last week cases have been coming under the national spotlight, said a report on BigPond News. "This humble and hurtful acknowledgement should not make us forget the free and passionate service of so many believers, starting with priests," the pontiff is cited saying (more).

Number of priests, religious killed highest in ten years
Extract from Australian Catholic, Thursday 27 May 2010

The total number of Catholic priests, men and women religious and seminarians killed during 2009 was 37, the highest number in the last 10 years and nearly double the number reported in 2008, says Fides.There were 30 priests, 2 religious sisters, 2 seminarians,

TV program - Compass
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 27 May 2010

Three Nigerian Catholic priests are sent to save Tasmania’s struggling church. But will the dwindling congregations and the resistance of the local clergy prove too hard a cross to bear?....There’s the even colder reality of elderly congregations in largely empty churches and an aging local priesthood. Fr Kene goes to Launceston where the harsh reality and loneliness of being an African in Australia starts to bite (more). (ABC TV1 - May 30 10.05pm) 

Vatican Considering Ethics of "Synthetic Life"
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne,Thursday 27 May 2010

As scientists are abuzz about the discovery of how to fashion a new type of life from existing life, the Vatican is awaiting more information before offering ethical guidance.
A group of 24 scientists led by Craig Venter, one of the fathers of the human genome project, published a discovery in Science magazine last week explaining how they started with a living cell and added a synthetic chromosome, which totally transforms that living cell to the new synthetic cell (more).

Zooming in on galaxy's finer points
Extract from The Age, Thursday 27 may 2010

 SCIENTISTS in Australia and New Zealand have brought together the radio signals of six telescopes across the two countries to act as one giant telescope.CSIRO astronomer Brian Boyle said when combined, the telescopes could see a galaxy, called Centaurus A, that was more than 14 million light years away (more).

General Peter Cosgrove appointed Chancellor of ACU
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 26 May 2010

Former Defence Force chief, General Peter Cosgrove AC, MC, has been appointed as the new Chancellor of Australian Catholic University (ACU). He will be the third Chancellor in the University’s history, succeeding Brother Julian McDonald CFC AO, who retires from the position after 10 years of outstanding service (more).

Shades of grey in a world of apparent absolutes
Extract from Analysis, Thomas, P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter Wednesday 26 May 2010

Excommunication is the most severe penalty a Catholic can incur. It is so severe that it is not easily presumed or imposed. In the case of the sister from Phoenix who was declared excommunicated by Thomas Olmsted, the bishop of the Phoenix diocese, the issue is far from clear as it has been presented by the diocese in their Question and Answer statement issued on May 18, 2010. This tragic case involves the convergence of canon law, moral theology, medical ethics, and medical science, all of which should have been carefully considered before any prudential decisions were made by anyone directly involved (more). 

Catholics reach back to church tradition
Edited Extract from Tess Livingstone, The Australian, Saturday 22 may 2010

A new translation of the mass soon to be celebrated by more than 100 million English-speaking Catholics reaches back to church tradition, replacing the more colloquial and "dumbed-down" liturgy that was adopted by the Vatican 40 years ago (more). 

A new Pentecost
Extracts from Sr Mary Cole,PBVM, Associate Professor of Theology, Australian Catholic University, Catholica, Saturday 22 May 2010

The phrase "a new Pentecost" recalls the Prayer to the Holy Spirit that Pope John XXIII proposed for the Vatican Council's success: "O Holy Spirit, renew your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost."...The metaphor recalls the gathering together of the first disciples in Jerusalem and the outpouring of the Spirit upon this embryonic Church. By invoking the image of Pentecost we get a glimpse into the hope John had for the Council (more).

Farewell for Father Len:   
All are invited to attend a Concelebrated Mass at 2pm at St Bernadette’s Church on Sunday 20 June. Mass will be followed by Afternoon Tea in the Cunningham Centre (newly blessed Hall) at St Bernadette’s. These Parish gatherings are opportunities to sincerely thank Fr Len for all that he has done in our parish, and beyond. We thank those who have already offered support and assistance. If interested in being involved, please email your details here or phone the Parish Office 9499 1515.

Celebration of our youth
Thursday 20 May 2010

As we prepare to celebrate the Confirmation of 71 young people from the Parish this weekend let us pause to celebrate the energy, enthusiasm and considerable talent of all youth, including 16 y.o. Jessica Watson during her recent solo seven month sail around the world. Last Sunday's Parish Youth Group event dramatically demonstrated some of these qualities in the making of a number of Parish video productions including i) Overbelly, ii) Mafia Annual Conference, iii) The Collectors, and iv) Murder in Ivanhoe Parish. Fr John regularly speaks of our need to listen to young people (and all people). Those who dare may share in this celebration by viewing some "screen shots" from their videos, on the Parish Youth Group page (here)!  Image, Flickr, RichArtpix

TV program - Compass: Vatican II and Australia
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 20 May 2010

This episode of Compass explores the Catholic Church in Australia during one of the most dynamic periods in its recent history, the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Vatican II challenged elements of Catholicism unquestioned since the 16th century. Pope John XXIII wanted to bring the church 'up to date' in a dynamic and fast changing world.Compass, 10.05pm ABC- TV1, May 23 (more).

US religious sister excommunicated for role in abortion decision
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 20 may 2010

A US religious sister has been "automatically excommunicated" for her involvement in a decision to abort the baby of a woman - whose pregnancy the hospital said carried a near-certain risk of death (more).

Alzheimers sufferers to quadruple by 2050
Extract from Thursday 20 May 2010

Victoria needs to start planning now for an expected quadrupling in the number of people suffering from dementia over the next 40 years, Alzheimer's Australia says.
An Access Economics study commissioned by the organisation estimates the number of Victorian dementia sufferers will balloon from about 66,000 in 2010 to 246,000 in 2050.
The 275 per cent rise will be driven largely by population growth and ageing baby boomers, the report says (more).

Schizophrenia awareness week May 16-22
Extracts from Schizophrenia Fellowship NSW and Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria, Wed. 19 May 2010

Schizophrenia Awareness Week is an annual event held in May. It provides an opportunity to raise community awareness of schizophrenia and mental illness in general. Schizophrenia Awareness Week also provides an opportunity for those who have schizophrenia to share their experience and knowledge and help to create a greater understanding of their needs and aspirations (more). A key theme of Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria's  Bruce Woodcock Memorial Lecture by Professor Johanne Nicholson at the Arts Centre last night was that families can have a pivotal role in managing schizophrenia if trained and supported in this task (more). Editor's note:  After Fr Len's retirement on 1 June the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne will unfortunately no longer have a Mental Health Chaplain. Recent Health reforms in Australia ignored mental health.

American father of six to be ordained as priest
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 19 May 2010
An American married father of six has been given permission to become a Roman Catholic priest. The Diocese of Rochester in New York says the 49-year-old former protestant minister is getting a "special exception" to the celibacy rule from Pope Benedict (more).

Church encouraged Fr Finian Egan complainants to see police: Bishop
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 18 May 2010

Bishop David Walker of the Diocese of Broken Bay said news reports saying the Church had failed to act on abuse allegations against Father Finian Egan were "grossly inaccurate", and he encouraged complainants to go to the police (more).

Faith, hope and despair
Extract from Rafael Epstein and Nick McKenzie, The Age, Tuesday 18 May 2010

The experiences of two women sexually assaulted by Catholic priests reveal the church has learnt little about dealing with victims of abuse...(more).

First woman priest for Italy
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 18 May 2010

Italy's first woman priest, who belongs to the Old Catholic Church, is to be ordained later this month.Maria Vittoria Longhitano, 35, a member of the Italian Old Catholic Church, a breakaway group not recognised by the Vatican, will be ordained at All Saints Church, near the Spanish Steps in Rome, on May 22, Times Online reports (more).

Openly gay woman bishop consecrated in Episcopal Church
Extract from Anglican Media Melbourne, Tuesday 18 May 2010
A second openly gay bishop has been consecrated in the Episcopal Church of the United States. In a service described as a "joyous celebration," two women - Mary Glasspool, an openly gay woman, and Diane Bruce - were consecrated to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday (more).

Shroud still wrapped in mystery
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 14 June 2010

In making a special visit to Turin to pray before the Holy Shroud last week, Pope Benedict was giving a clear message to the world: that he believes the Holy Shroud is the burial cloth of Christ (more).

Ethics petition launched in support of Scripture classes
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 13 May 2010

Bishop Peter Ingham of Wollongong has invited Catholics throughout NSW to sign a petition in support of the work of Catechists in the State Schools, opposing the teaching of ethics classes in time set aside for Special Religious Education (SRE)......Before the trial commenced, religious leaders were assured that ethics classes would only be offered to students who have already "opted out" of SRE. Unfortunately, this guarantee was breached and all students were invited to participate, including those who were previously in SRE classes, he said (more).

Drop celibacy requirement, says Austrian Bishop
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 13 May 2010

A leading Austrian bishop has called on the Church  to drop its celibacy requirement for priests. Bishop Paul Iby of Eisenstadt told Die Presse newspaper that it should be up to priests to decide whether they want to live a celibate life, and that he would welcome it if married men could be ordained, said an AP report in the Herald Sun (more).

Opinion - Pope Benedict changes tone on abuse crisis
Extract from John Allan, Opinion piece,  Catholic News, Thursday 13 May 2010

Not long ago, there was a brief flurry of speculation in the Italian media hinting that Benedict XVI was insulated from the full gravity of the sexual abuse crisis swirling around his papacy.....In as clear an example of a pope changing the Vatican’s public tone as one is ever likely to see, Benedict pointedly insisted that the real “persecution” facing him personally, and Catholicism generally, comes not from external attacks but from the reality of sin within the church (more). 

Priest thanks church for support
Extracts from Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, Saturday 8 May 2010

A priest representing the Catholic Church as a guest at the Church of Ireland general synod yesterday expressed gratitude on behalf of his church for support during the past “difficult” year....In a debate on Christian unity yesterday afternoon, Bishop Richard Clarke of Meath and Kildare warned delegates “the work of unity is not a luxury, not a hobby.......”(more).

Parish Dinner Dance
Friday 7 May 2010

This was an outstanding success last year (see Photo Gallery). Amongst many other things this year's event will also be another opportunity to farewell Fr Len, and the official launch of "A Brief History of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe". Bookings for the Parish Dinner Dance have now opened and a booking form may be downloaded (below) from under the "New Events" Section of this page.

Mental illness within families
Extract from Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria, Thursday 6 May 2010

Every year, for Schizophrenia Awareness Week, MI Fellowship hosts the annual Bruce Woodcock Memorial Lecture that brings the best brains in the world to Melbourne to talk about a burning issue in mental illness, how they're addressing it internationally and what we can all do about it. This year's speaker is Dr Joanne Nicholson of the University of Massachusetts, who is coming to Melbourne to talk on 18 May about the oft-neglected issue of mental illness within families and the role that family structures can play in mental health recovery (more).

Kung warns against wholesale attack on church
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 6 May 2010

Vatican critic Hans Küng has warned against "condemning the church and its priests wholesale" over clerical sex abuse and dismissed as nonsense claims that Pope Benedict has been "the worst" pontiff "for centuries" (more). 

Overcoming adversity and achieving your goals
Advertisement, NICK Foundation, Thursday 6 May 2020

Equip yourself and your children with strategies to overcome adversity to such a degree that you achieve truly great feats. A very special evening for parents and students that focuses on creating inspiration for our families. Monday 10 May (download 1 Mbyte Flyer).

Pell elevation speculation
Extract from "Blog Watcher", Catholic News, Wednesday 5 May 2010

Whispers in the Loggia taps into speculation that Cardinal George Pell is the hot tip for appointment as the next prefect of the Congregation for Bishops for next month. 'Talk of the move has reached a new fever-pitch since Friday, when Cardinal Pell had his second private audience with Benedict in the last three months. Following a "rather lengthy" sit-down with the Pope in early February -- during which the post is believed to have been proffered to him -- Australia's senior churchman already raised eyebrows by suddenly extending his stay in Rome by an extra week.' (more).

Faith healing ritual angers congregation
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 5 May 2010

A foreign-trained priest who laid a mentally and physically disabled girl on an altar during a West Australian mass at the weekend and ordered her to walk has raised a furore among parishioners (more). 

Vatican's No. 2 questions celibacy
Extract from Michael Kelly, Catholic News, Tuesday 4 May 2010

Cardinal Bertone's concession last week - that (of) questioning celibacy as a requirement for priestly ministry - is hardly novel. But it does represent admission for the first time at the highest level of Catholic leadership that a discussion is well and truly underway in the wider Church (more).

Parish Leadership Team Meeting
Monday 3 May 2010

The major issue discussed tonight was Parish Finances. Following the trend of well over 25 years the financial position of the Parish continues to decline at a concerning rate. Rising costs together with ever decreasing thanksgiving offerings and parishioner numbers now result in an even worse position than anticipated, despite many new and successful Parish initiatives, innovations and plans. Various financial options are available and are being explored, but none of these by themselves appear likely to reverse the overall decline which is currently evident in other parishes also. An immediate response is further spending cut-backs, the first of which will unfortunately be the proposed new multimedia facility at St Bernadette's, which has now been put on hold. The great irony of all of this is that Parish activity is actually on a high, with many new initiatives being introduced and valued by a wider range of people, but unfortunately with a diminishing number of paying parishioners. As the PLT now focuses further on this issue some of the positive developments as also discussed are outlined in a fuller summary on the Leadership Team page.

Fr Len's Retirement
Friday 30 April 2010

The Archbishop has formally approved Fr Len's retirement from lst June. He will then be designated P.E. (Pastor Emeritus). Apart from many other things we wish him continued improving health.  A Parish website report on March 19th described a moving tribute to Fr Len at a farewell then by about 25 of his Community Mental health visitors. The Parish and more of Fr Len's very many friends will have the next public opportunity to farewell him on the afternoon of 20th June. Details will be provided shortly.

New additional Parish Youth Leader appointed
Friday 30 April 2010

The Parish is pleased to announce the appointment of an additional part-time Youth Leader. With another Youth Leader yet to be appointed (male) Annette Giang will work with the younger members of our now split Young People's Group, leaving the older members to Tom Stammers and Alison Rogers. Younger members include those who have left our Parish schools for Year 7 at other schools together with those young people in our parish who are about to be Confirmed. Annette is well qualified and experienced. Her profile will shortly join those of our other Youth Leaders on the YPG web page. This is part of the Parish's strong ongoing commitment to serving and learning from our young people, amongst all others, in a changing world. We congratulate Annette and wish her well.

Pope proposes new translation as chance to learn
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 29 April 2010

Pope Benedict XVI is welcoming the news that the English translation of the Roman Missal will be published soon, while cautioning that the liturgical changes need to be made with sensitivity (more).

Pope may issue apology at priests' summit
Extract from Catholic News. Thursday 29 April 2010

Pope Benedict XVI may issue an apology over clerical sex abuse at the June summit planned to mark the end of the Year for Priests (more). See report below on close of "Priests' Year"

Celibacy not 'untouchable' says Bertone
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 29 April 2010

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has said that priestly celibacy is not "untouchable" but is a "positive tradition" of the Church (more).

Number of world Catholics on the rise
Edited extracts from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 28 April 2010

The Vatican announced today that its publishing house has released a new edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, comprising information from 2000 to 2008, including that the number of Catholics in the world is now 1.16 billion....Over these nine years, the Catholic presence in the world has grown from 1.045 billion in 2000 to 1.166 billion in 2008, an increase of 11.54% (more).

Movements make plans for close of Priests' Year
Edited Extracts from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 28 April 2010

The official closing celebrations of the Year for Priests are 9-11 June in Rome....Three lay Catholic movements are joining together to host an afternoon for priests in the context of the official closing ceremonies of the Year for Priests, scheduled for June in the Vatican.....The Priests Today ceremony is an attempt "to give an answer, using above all the language of testimony and art, to the great challenges that the Church and society present today to priests," said the organisers (more).

What If We Said, 'Wait'? - The case for a review of the new Roman Missal
Edited Extracts from Rev Michael G Ryan, America - the National Catholic Weekly, originally published 14/12/09, Wednesday 28 April 2010

It is now 45 years since the Second Vatican Council promulgated the groundbreaking and liberating document on the sacred liturgy.... As an eager and enthusiastic North American College seminarian at the time, I was in St. Peter’s Square on the December day in 1963 when Pope Paul VI, with the world’s bishops, presented that great Magna Carta to the church....Not in my wildest dreams would it have occurred to me then that I would live to witness what seems more and more like the systematic dismantling of the great vision of the council’s decree. But I have. We Catholics have (more).

Call for council of bishops to deal with sexuality issues
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 28 April, 2010

Retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson says some sexually abusive clergy did not think they breached their vow of celibacy by molesting boys. He also said that getting more women involved in church life is a crucial step forward (more).

Letter from Peru - Statues and Images
Edited extract from Fr Joe Ruys, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Tuesday 27 April 2010

Many years ago I was visiting a newly renovated Church.  I had the opportunity of talking with a number of the parishioners about how they felt about the work which had just been completed.  Some members of the liturgy committee, enthusiastic about their ideas which had become a reality, expressed their joy at how the Church had been cleansed of its saturation of statues and images so that now its was a clean set of walls, simple in its presentation, which could be used for any kind of celebration.  With the addition of a cloth, a picture, or a statue, the focus of the liturgy or Mass could be changed.  Others, who had not been part of the planning team, expressed their disappointment at how the life had been taken out of their Church (more).

Domus Australia - Roman Holiday with a Difference
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Tuesday 27 April 2010

The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell welcomed guests to a site inspection of Domus Australia in Romemore).
on Friday, 23 April and unveiled the logo for this unique pilgrimage centre for Australians (

Priests must protect kids: Pope
Extract from Frances D'Emillio, AP, The Age, Monday 26 April 2010

Pope Benedict XVI told priests on Sunday to safeguard children in their charge from evil and win the "absolute" trust of their flock, even as his own papacy is clouded by accusations he and other top churchmen failed to protect minors adequately from pedophile clergy (more).

Battle against the Burka
Extract from Sally Neighbour, The Australian, Monday 26 April 2010

France's move to extend its ban on the Islamic headscarf and outlaw the full-face veil appears to be catching on. Belgian MPs will vote on whether to prohibit it and similar laws have been drafted in Italy. Europe's rising Muslim population, which exceeds 20 per cent in some cities, has ensured a groundswell of support for these moves (more).

Vic Catholic schools lead on education building projects
Edited Extract from Catholic Australia, Friday 23 April 2010

Victorian Catholic schools are getting their Building the Education Revolution projects up and running much faster than their public counterparts. Nearly all of their projects are already underway. The key difference between the two systems in Victoria is that Catholic school principals are in control of their BER projects, whereas state school principals claim they are being left out of the planning and site management process, The Australian reports (more) - See report below on St Bernadette's Primary School.

Free market never meant to be free license: Obama
Edited Extract from Jonathan Weisman and Damian Palette, The Wall St Journal, The Australian, Friday 23 April 2010

Two years after a campaign speech that laid out his vision for Wall Street President Barack castigated a financial industry that he said has too often forgotten the ordinary Americans who have suffered from its reckless irresponsibility - "A free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it," (more)

Vic police call for Melbourne church changes
Extract from Nick McKenzie and Rafael Epstein, The Age, Thursday April 22, 2010

Victoria Police has called for sweeping changes to the way Melbourne's Catholic Church deals with sex crime allegations, as The Age reveals that only one priest has been defrocked for abuse in the past 14 years. Nearly 300 allegations of sexual abuse have been substantiated by church investigations since 1996, when the ''Melbourne Response'' was set up to deal with complaints (more).

Church acting against paedophiles: Pope
Extract from AFP, The Age. Thursday 22 April 2010

Benedict XVI on Wednesday said the Roman Catholic Church was taking action against the scourge of paedophile priests amid snowballing scandals in Europe and the United States (more).

We are judged by our treatment of refugees
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 21 April 2010

Refugees are among the most vulnerable people on the globe, and Australia will be judged as a world citizen by the way it treats them, said Australian Catholic Social Justice Council Chairman, Bishop Christopher Saunders (more). 

A bright future for Parish Primary School students
John Costa, Wednesday 21 April 2010

Combine a Federal Government grant with the forward looking approach of St Bernadette's Principal, Staff, Parents and Students, put it into the context of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe and into the hands of a great architect, and the result was appropriately celebrated this evening. The occasion was the Blessing and Official Opening of St Bernadette's Primary School state-of-art "Senior Learning Centre & School Hall". Principal Kathy Lowe outlined how the buildings were designed to meet the needs of information-oriented students of a very different generation facing a very different world into the future. Member for Jaga Jaga Jenny Macklin spoke about how the new buildings also reflected the different human needs of today and the future. Architect (FPPV) Carolina Torres spoke on how St Bernadette's focus on young people has been translated into this unique design. School Board President Kylie Coen spoke about how the whole school community got behind this project. School Captains Amelia Spencer and Charlie Bice expressed their appreciation on behalf of students, and in Blessing the buildings Fr John Cunningham spoke of the importance always of listening to and taking heed of what young people are telling us. This development joyously celebrates all of these things.  Other pics in Photo Gallery

Abuse nun warns against amateur psychology
Extracts from Catholic News, Friday 16 April 2010

Sister Angela Ryan, who heads the Australian Bishops' Committee for Professional Standards, has stressed that it's up to professional psychologists to determine whether church sexual abuse is caused by homosexuality, celibacy, or other factors...."You'd need to talk with psychologists to be working that through. Clergy aren't in a position and I'm not in a position, I'm not a psychologist. So it's very difficult to make statements about things where you're not qualified."  (more)

Priestless Parishes?

Extract from George Ripon, Catholica, Saturday 18 April 2009

"I think the time has come to start planning for the parish of the future, priestless. This does not imply a lack of priestly service for Mass and the sacraments but it does mean that the local Catholic community would become self-governing. The parish would of course remain in communion with the local hierarchy in ways considered later in this article. As a parishioner in the Archdiocese of Melbourne I draw on local experience and conditions ." (more)

The dignity of Carl Williams
Extract from Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, Wednesday 21 April 2010

The death of Carl Williams has predictably been covered as if it were an episode of Underbelly. It comes complete with reminders of past episodes, pictures of the central characters, enticement by future developments of the plot, and a heavy voice-over reinforcing the moral message that what goes around comes around. What has been lacking is even a moment in which we are invited to pause in solidarity with one of our fellow human beings who died un-provided for in what should have been a safe place (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free 

Atheist who discovered God in final years
Extracts from Catholic News, Wednesday 21 April 2010

Obituaries and tributes have poured in for Antony Flew, the renowned British rationalist who discovered God at the end of his life, said the Sydney Archdiocese....Flew's conclusion that there was in fact a God in his 81st year came as a shock to his fellow atheists, particularly Dawkins and Hitchens, two of the world's most outspoken proponents of atheism....But Flew refused to back down even when some of his former followers decided his volte-face on God was the result of old age dementia and confusion rather than scholarly research and intellectual rigour (more).

Sea of Galilee fishing ban by Israel
Edited Extract from  The Age, Sunday 18 April 2010

In a remarkable coincidence given today's Gospel reading (John 21:1-19) Israel on Sunday imposed a two-year ban on fishing in the Sea of Galilee, halting a practice that dates back to biblical times when tradition holds Jesus and his disciples fished those waters....The (two year) ban was called for to help preserve fish stocks which have plummeted dramatically."We will support the fishermen and make sure the lake is restocked with fish," Netanyahu said (more).

Enthusiastic parish response to 2010 Confirmation classes
Friday 16 April 2010

Those running the Confirmation preparation classes for the Ivanhoe Parish and outlying areas report an attentive and enthusiastic response from the 75 young people participating in this year's programme, supported by their parents. Confirmations will be celebrated at St Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday 23 May. Upon Confirmation these Parish youth will be welcomed at a "youth-oriented" Mass in the Parish at 5:00m on Sunday 13 June, and then invited afterwards to participate in a Youth Group dinner and fun event after Mass.

Toowoomba Diocese braces for more sex claims
Edited Extract from Catholic News, Friday 16 Aril 2010

The Diocese of Toowoomba is bracing itself for the possibility of more legal action should former students of a teacher come forward with further allegations of child sexual abuse.The Chronicle reports that the teacher, 61, pleaded guilty in Toowoomba District Court on Wednesday to 10 counts of rape of children under 12, 33 counts of child molestation and one of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 12 (more).

Church must 'do penance', Pope Benedict says
Extracts from Catholic News, Friday 16 April 2010

Addressing the recent abuse crisis publicly for the first time, Pope Benedict has said that the church should "do penance" in response to recent public attention to its "sins.".. We Christians, even lately, have often avoided the word 'penance,'" the pope said, according to excerpts of the homily posted on Vatican Radio's Web site."Now, under the eyes of the world that speaks of our sins, we see that doing penance is grace and we see how penance is necessary," he added in an apparent reference to the sex-abuse crisis (more). 

Columban ecologist urges Creation Synod
Extracts from Catholic News, Thursday 15 Aril 2010

Outspoken Irish Columban ecologist Fr Sean McDonagh has told a Sydney audience that a Synod on Creation is necessary if Church teaching on ecology is to grow out of its infancy...Columban E-News reports that he alluded to Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 New Year Message "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." (more)

A response to some Questions
From this website's "Your Views" page, Thursday 15 April 2010

At the new "Experimental" 5:00pm Mass in our Parish last Sunday (11th April) and during an interactive discussion with those present Fr John asked a number of Questions. One of those, based on the day's Gospel Reading, was "Thomas the doubter. How does doubt affect our lives and Church?". Someone present subsequently emailed their thoughts on that Question, and also on the meaning of "Heaven", and on "Paedophilia", and "The Chosen People". Those thoughts can be seen on the "Your Views" page.

High-tech health in the bush
Extracts from Eureka Street, Wednesday 14 June 2010

Technological innovation is an important part of supporting the health and wellbeing of communities....The IEHR is a secure, electronic record of a person's medical history, stored and shared in a network of connected systems, which individuals and health professionals can easily view through a computer and online (more). Note: Subscription to Eureka Street is free.  Image: cjohnstone

Three steps for responding to the scandal of sexual abuse of minors.
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Tuesday 13 April 2010

The director of the Vatican press office is suggesting three steps for responding to the scandal of sexual abuse of minors. He is also calling communicators to a love for the truth if they wish to "serve rather than confuse" (more). Note:The Vatican has now published online its existing "Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations"

Common-sense Compassion “War Will Not Bring Peace”
Spirituality in the Pub, Wednesday 21 April 2010. Deborah Storie (former TEAR field-worker in Afghanistan) and Margaret Fyfe (currently leading in Caritas Australia but with most of her experience in Caritas de Zalapa MexicoLatin America). 6:30pm buffet dinner for 8:00pm discussion. Veneto Cluib Bulleen.  Download brochure here.

Why I stay in the church
Extract from Opinion Piece, Mary C. Gordon, Catholic News, Friday 9 April 2010

Of the fate of contemporary Catholics, Flannery O'Connor once said that we must suffer at least as much from the Church as for it. Certainly, the past weeks have been a cause for suffering for Catholics of all political stripes, but the suffering takes on a particular flavor for progressives (more).

Two million years link a rock and a new species
Extract from Bridie Smith, The Age, Friday 9 April 2010

Two fossilised skeletons that could rewrite the story of human evolution have been unveiled, after their age was confirmed by a geologist working in Melbourne. Described as a new species of early human, scientists believe the two skeletons were members of a previously unknown group that existed around the time ancient apes made the transition to modern humans (more).

Parish Youth Group strong but leaders on the move
John Costa, Friday 9 April 2010

Our Parish Young Peoples' Group (YPG) began 4 years ago and has gone from strength to strength. It is still being enjoyed by its inaugural members who mostly joined in Year 6 (after Confirmation) but who are already in Year 10 at various schools, Catholic and otherwise. Because of the wide age gap now between our older and younger youth it was recently decided to split into "senior" and "junior" groups. Extensive advertising for additional paid Youth Leaders in the Parish, Archdiocese Youth Office, ACU, schools and elsewhere has so far brought little result. One of our original Youth Leaders (both exceptionally good) recently moved on and another will leave at the end of this year. Continuing inability to recruit would leave little choice but to close down the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe YPG despite its success. It would be very disappointing and a bad future omen to once again have to  totally neglect this active and extremely important part of our Parish community, given also the positive impact these young people have already made on the Parish (values, multimedia and other new ideas, enthusiasm, energy, hope, etc) and our otherwise ageing Parish population. We would love to hear from any prospective Youth Leaders!

Lady Gaga worried about rejection from Catholic family?
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 8 November 2010

American pop singer Lady Gaga, known for her provocative costumes and image, is reputedly struggling with her sexuality and worried what her Catholic parents will think of her lifestyle choice (more).  Photo: Catholic News

Bishops say scrap bureaucracy to help Aboriginal people
Extract from Catholic News, Wednesday 7 April 2010

In a submission to a Federal parliamentary inquiry into high rates of indigenous imprisonment, the bishops say that turf wars across every level of government are a major inhibitor to the proper delivery of services to indigenous people, according to The West Australian."Until these obstacles can be overcome money will continue to be wasted and indigenous people will continue to be disadvantaged," their submission says. "More committees and more inquiries are not the answer."The current bureaucratic models are a disaster for indigenous people (more).  Photo Catholic News

Mary MacKillop Documentary
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 7 April 2010

The first documentary to profile Mary MacKillop's life and ongoing legacy has just been released. Soul of the Sunburnt Country – the story of Mary MacKillop and the Josephites contains rare images, archival material and candid interviews, and provides insight into the life of Australia’s first saint, and the history and ongoing work of the congregation she founded (more).

Call for October summit in Rome
Edited Extracts from John Allen Jr, National Catholic Reporter, Monday 5 April 2010

Two of the five sex abuse victims who met Pope Benedict XVI during his April 2008 visit to the United States......have announced plans to stage a "Day of Reformation" for the Catholic church in Rome on Oct. 31. (One of the victims)...said that he also plans to offer a four-point platform for reform to church officials ahead of time, in hopes that the Oct. 31 event could become an occasion for the pope and other senior leaders to officially embrace it (more).

God, the Christian socialist and the mad monk
Extract from Opinion Piece By Chris Uhlmann, ABC The Drum, Updated 1 April 2010

Both Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott make no secret of their Christianity. (AAP: Alan Porritt). Over Easter the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader will participate in rites that many see as ridiculous.They will be reflecting on the last days of a Jew who died in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago. On Thursday they ritually recreated his last meal and today they will remember the moment he was executed. Then they will celebrate the impossible; that this man rose from the dead.....(more) Photo AAP

Good Friday Reflection 2010
‘Jesus died so we can live.’

Extract from Denis J. Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne Friday 2 April 2010
...The cross is the light of God and the triumph over death.  The cross is the hope for resurrection and new life.  We take strength that when we suffer God has passed through death to new life.  Christ’s death is our hope and hope for the world in suffering....(more)

MI Masses cancelled for next 5 weeks?
1 April  2010

Merle underpins Liturgy and Mass preparations at MI Church but will be travelling from next week to the Pallotine Conference in Rome as a long-time member of the Pallotine community. St Bernadette's and MOG Churches
similarly have a very few key, long-standing volunteers working solidly and silently in the background on liturgy and coordination to keep Masses going. When one of these people temporarily leaves we are reminded of our vulnerability and critical dependence on so few. Fortunately on this occasion other volunteers have stepped forward, so MI Masses will not be cancelled! We thank all volunteers, encourage others, and wish Merle a safe and successful trip.

 Easter's image of compassion for abused and abusers
Extract from Eureka Street, Thursday 1 April 2010

....This conjunction of sin and of life suggests that the stories of sexual abuse throughout the Catholic world are not a distraction from Easter. If we are to enter this Easter it is appropriate to attend in a sustained way to the complex patterns of sin that are involved in abuse and in its consequences. This kind of gaze resists the temptations to deny or to minimise the extent of sexual abuse and the harm done by it. Because the gaze also attends to the viewer's own sinfulness, it resists the group self-interest that removes from scrutiny church practices like clerical celibacy and the rituals of power and obedience.....(more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free

Population growth will lift numbers of priests, schools
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 1 April 2010

More parishes, schools and priests will be required to meet the needs of an expected 40 percent growth in Sydney's population in the next three decades, says the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). (more

The church must practice what it preaches:  The Age editorial
Extracts from The Age, Editorial, Monday 29 March 2010

....The church teaches absolute moral values, so it must then act according to those same values. While it should be recognised that it has taken steps to prevent the abuses of the past from occurring in the future, it needs to ensure that the crimes and cover-ups of the past are exposed and dealt with according to the secular rule of law whereby crimes are reported to the relevant authorities......(more)

Germans losing faith in Church
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 26 March 2010

Barely one in six Germans now say they have confidence in the church, since the emergence of the child sex abuse cases in the country, according to a poll carried out by  German magazine Stern (more).

St Bernadette's chooses multimedia
Thursday 25 March 2009

At their second meeting to consider the issue Liturgy and Music volunteers at St Bernadette's Church unanimously decided this evening to proceed with the introduction of Multimedia in their Church to enrich liturgy and Church services there. They now join Mary Immaculate and Mother of God where multimedia has already helped increase participation by a wider range of people.

Anti-Popes and Dangers of a Parallel Magisterium
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 24 march 2010

The attempt of the press to implicate Pope Benedict XVI in the question of pedophilia is only the most recent sign of the aversion that many have for the Pope (more).

Central Qld Church prepares to welcome Indian priests
Extract from Catholic Newes, Wednesday 24 March 2010

The Church in Central Queensland is looking at ways to make Indian priests feel welcome in the region, with three priests from the subcontinent likely to move to Rockhampton, Mackay or Bundaberg by July (more). 

New Pastoral Associate for Ivanhoe
Friday 19 March 2010

We welcome Amanda Smith who is now employed as the Pastoral Associate for the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe.  She commenced work this week and is looking forward to meeting everyone and contributing to the different aspects of parish life in conjunction with Fr. John, the Parish Leadership Team and all parishioners.  We look forward to working with Amanda. Her contacts are - Phone: 9499 1515   Email:

From Fr Len
Friday 19 March 2010

Father Len was farewelled by about 25 of his Community Mental Health visitors last Saturday night at Mary Immaculate Hall, with a Barbecue and Open Forum (before he resigns formally from the Parish, and from Mental Health Chaplaincy by June this year). Some of the visitors brought friends, carers, and family members. Our Men’s’ Club and Outreach Group were joined by a few parishioners and some from the Parish Leadership Team to build the spirit of the night and to help with catering.
Fr. John spoke highly of the real mission of the church to disadvantaged and marginalised people. Heartfelt tributes were given by some who had known Fr. Len in hospitals, asylums, special accommodation and private homes. The journey goes on for us all, with changes, and it is hoped that Ivanhoe Catholics  and the Parish of four communities can  continue to welcome people who are often lonely, isolated, unwell, and searching for deep spirituality. 

Lust for life: Cystic fibrosis sufferer Alex Stobbs on conducting a three-hour Easter epic by Bach
John Costa plus edited extract from The Independent, Friday 26 March 2010

The powerful documentary "A Boy Called Alex" was broadcast on ABC2 last  Wednesday. It would be hard not to be moved and inspired, by the sight of Stobbs, as frail as he was determined, overseeing a performance of one of the great compositions of the classical canon Bach's Magnificat. When Alex Stobbs conducted this work last year, his cystic fibrosis nearly killed him. So how did the 19-year-old recuperate? By tackling the epic 'St Matthew Passion'. Here, he tells Michael Church about hope, ignoring his doctors – and why next Sunday's performance is truly once-in-a-lifetime (more). Part two of this inspiring documentary "A Passion for Life" can be seen on ABC2 next Wednesday (March 31) at 8:30pm. An earlier interview with Alex can be seen on this website's "Videos" page. Photo Jean Goldsmith, The Independent

Bishops oppose historic US health bill
Edited Extracts from Michael Sean, The Tablet Friday 26 March 2010

Lawmakers in the US voted in favour of health-care reforms by the narrowest of margins late on Sunday night, but the large number of Catholic supporters of the bill did not include the Catholic bishops themselves......the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposed the final bill, deeming the executive order insufficient. Their voices were drowned out by large numbers of pro-life leaders who supported the reform. The Catholic Health Association (CHA), which represents 1,200 Catholic hospitals, endorsed the bill. In an interview, the association’s president, Sr Carol Keehan, rebutted the charge that the organisation was so dedicated to reform that it was overlooking the abortion provisions. She said: “I was not going to take a little bit of abortion [in the bill] to get federal funding” (more).

Young Australian delegates attend international youth Forum
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 25 march 2010

Two Australian young people, Devett O’Brien and Bethany Lentern, are in the Italian- town Rocca di Papa attending the 10th International Youth Forum, which will include celebrations for the 25th World Youth Day this Sunday. This year the event is themed “Learning to Love”, with a particular focus on the vocation and call to marriage. The 300 participants will discuss and reflect on the importance of love in family life, religious life and priesthood and will be able to attend forums and workshops on related topics (more).

Religious groups fear 'witch-hunt'
Extract from Barnet Zwartz, The Age, Thursday 25 March 2010

Religious groups fear the Equal Opportunity Bill debated in State Parliament yesterday will launch a witch-hunt against them and schools, forcing some to secularise or disband. Debate will continue today on the bill, which would allow the Equal Opportunity Commission to investigate at will and to require religious employers to show why they need to discriminate (more).

School's bold strategy against bullying
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday March 18, 2010

Brisbane Catholic school Villanova College is using an alternative method called "restorative practice" to tackle bullying in school, empowering students and promoting discussion rather than punishment (more). 

Cardinal Brady admits shame, asks for prayer
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne,Thursday 18 March 2010

On the feast of St. Patrick, patron of Ireland, the president of the country's episcopal conference is asking for forgiveness for his role in a sexual abuse case from the '70s.
Cardinal Sean Brady reflected on "wounded memories and past mistakes" during his homily today in Armagh's Cathedral of St. Patrick.The cardinal has come under media fire because he interviewed two adolescent boys in 1975 who reported being abused by a priest who would later be jailed for his crimes, but not for another two decades and after abusing dozens of children (more).

Australian Traditional Anglicans moves to union with Catholic Church
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 18 March 2010

A total of four bishops, 40 priests and thousands of parishioners from the Australian Traditional Anglican Communion will petition the Vatican by Easter to be received into the Church (more). 

Europeans initiate campaign for work-free Sunday
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 18 March 2010

Martin Kastler, German member of the European Parliament, launched the first citizen referendum of the European Union to request that Sunday be declared a day for family and rest (more). Image: Flickr, workfreedays

Divided loyalties: an incredible situation
Extract from Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter, Wednesday Mar. 17, 2010

For all the certainty about the facts of the case, there is still an aura of discontent everywhere about the situation surrounding clerical sex abuse in the church. No one disputes the data now; everyone disputes the nature of the problem. And worse than that, the data simply keeps piling up on all sides (more).

Atheists' ridicule won't win friends
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Tuesday 16 March 2010

They have a message, but need more humility and self-deprecation. If the meek really do inherit the earth, it won't be the atheists who turned out in force in Melbourne at the weekend for what organisers believe to be the world's biggest atheist conference (more).

World Youth Day Turns 25
Edited Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne,Tuesday 16 March 2010

Pope Benedict XVI is hailing the "abundant fruits" of the initiative launched by his predecessor 25 years ago: an "annual meeting of believing young people," coming together to "discover the beauty of the Church." Mark's account of Christ's meeting with a young man "expresses effectively Jesus' great attention to youth, to you, to your expectations, your hopes, and shows how great his desire is to meet with you personally and open a dialogue with each one of you," the Holy Father said. "In fact, Christ interrupts his journey to respond to his interlocutor's question, manifesting full availability to that young man, who was moved by an ardent desire to speak with the 'good Teacher,' to learn from him how to follow the way of life." (more) Image: Flickr, Christopher Chan

Ireland to hold referendum on blasphemy law
Edited Extract from Henry McDonald, Ireland Correspondent, The Guardian, Monday 15 March 2010

Ireland is to hold a referendum on removing a blasphemy ban from the constitution....At the beginning of the year, the republic introduced legislation making blasphemy a crime punishable with a fine of up to €25,000 (more).

Parish Program for lent, Holy Week and Easter

Friday 12 March 2010
This is  available for download from the Mass Times page and includes the Korean Community at St Bernadette's.

Xenophon vow on Scientology probe
Extracts from Katherine Murphy, The Age, Friday 12 March 2010

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has vowed to continue his efforts to investigate the Church of Scientology after a motion for a Senate inquiry failed yesterday......But the government said it would not support another inquiry into the tax treatment of religious groups......then argued that an inquiry into Scientology would impinge on religious freedom (more).

Catholic ethicist backs androgyny recognition
Extract from Catholic News, Friday March 12, 2010

A leading Catholic ethicist has endorsed the decision to recognise a 48-year-old Sydney woman as the first person in NSW to officially be neither man nor woman (more).  

Church Will Be Ever New, Says Pope
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne,Friday 12 March 2010

The uniqueness of Christ means that there will be novelties and renewal within the Church in every period of history, Pope Benedict XVI says (more).

Cardinal leads talks to youth
Edited extracts from Catholic Weekly, Thursday 11 March 2010

The Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, will launch a series of talks aimed at youth aged 16-35 speaking on the topic “Without God we are nothing”.... From March-October there will be a gathering called Voice of the Youth for young people in the Sydney archdiocese. Over the course of the next few months, Cardinal Pell, Bishop Terry Brady, Bishop Julian Porteous, Bishop Eugene Hurley and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, will speak on various topics at the gatherings (more). Image: Flickr, pablitoblue

Unflinching examination of celibacy:Archbishop
Edited extract from Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent, Guardian UK, Thursday 11 March 2010

The Archbishop of Vienna today said priestly celibacy could be one of the causes of the sex abuse scandals to hit the Catholic church. In an article for Thema Kirche, his diocesan magazine, Christoph Schonborn became the most senior figure in the Catholic hierarchy to make the connection between the two and called for an "unflinching examination" of the possible reasons for paedophilia (more).

Letter to Women from the Catholic Bishops of Australia
From Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

This letter from ACBC President, Archbishop Philip E. Wilson, reflects on the 10th anniversary of the report into the participation of women in the Catholic Church in Australia, Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus. The letter may be downloaded here.

Our brains are wired for liturgy
Extracts from Catholic News, March 11 2009

Scientific researchers Andrew Newberg and the late Eugene d’Aquili, both physicians at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, have shed light on the origins of ritual and liturgy in the human sphere and in particular on the tensions that underlie the “liturgy wars.”...Their research on the relationship between the brain and our experiences of prayer, meditation, sacred story and liturgy is a step forward in the study of religion. Previously, religious behaviour was thought to be purely cultural. Now we know there are biological correlates for many kinds of religious activities (more).

iPhone rosary
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 11 March 2010

The iPhone's 140 million-plus applications now include one that helps Catholics pray the rosary (more).

Dutch Group Endorses Right To Suicide For Elderly
Extract from Associated Press, CBS News, Tuesday 9 March 2010

A campaign to give elderly people in the Netherlands the right to assisted suicide said Monday it has gathered more than 100,000 signatures, hoping to push the boundaries another notch in the country that first legalized euthanasia. The signatures are enough to force a debate in parliament, where it is certain to face resistance. Even if widely approved, the proposal would normally go through a lengthy process of committee work and consensus-building that could take years (more).

At Cross Purposes
Extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Tuesday 9 March 2010

A South Australian bishop facing charges of scandalous conduct has exposed the schism in the Anglican Church - and the enduring appeal of Rome to its disaffected members (more).

To catch a bully
Extract from Eureka Street, Luke Williams Monday 8 March 2010
The growing awareness and legislation around bullying has had an unintended consequence: many workplace bullies have simply become sneaky (more).  Subscription to Eureka Street is free.

Forgive me, operator, for I have sinned - confession in an electronic age
Extracts from Graham Reilly,The Age, Saturday March 6, 2010

.....Called ''Le Fil du Seigneur'' or ''The Line of the Lord'', to confessez-vous par telephone you just dial 089246DIEU (3438). For advice, press one. To confess press two. On hearing the details I immediately wondered if the calls would be recorded for training purposes by HR.......The service was set up to mark the beginning of Lent by a group of Catholics working for a small Paris-based company that provides telephone messaging services. This unusual offering has, not surprisingly, been strongly criticised by French bishops, and not just for crossing historic lines of demarcation.....They argue that while telephone services have a role to play in lending an ear to the aged, the infirm and those who live in isolated areas, for the Catholic faithful confession is a sacrament and requires the real presence of a priest, which the service does not offer (more).

Program for Holy Week
Friday 5 March 2010

A full program of Parish Holy Week Ceremonies and Services will be published next week, including Penitential Services. The declining number of priests across our three Churches presents challenges, however with goodwill and cooperation the program will get around these one way or another (image: Flickr, tzetsis).

World Day of Prayer
Friday 5 March 2010

World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service. It is a movement initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions, and symbolized by an annual day of celebration, the first Friday of March, to which all people are welcome. It is a movement which brings together women of various races, cultures, and traditions in closer fellowship, understanding, and action throughout the year. This year a Prayer is offered by the women of Camaroon "Let Everything that has breath Praise God" (more). World Day of Prayer will also be celebrated within the Churches of Ivanhoe (details Merle Gilbo).

New executive of Catholic Women's League celebrated in Melbourne Mass
Extract from Catholic News,  Friday 5 March 2010

The Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has installed the new National Executive of the Catholic Women's League Australia (CWLA) in Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne.The CWLA is a member organisation of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO) and shares in its aim to promote the presence, participation and co-responsibility of Catholic women in society and the Church, the group said in a statement. 

Men-only 'society with secrets' dispels myths but not mystery
Extracts from The Australian, Thursday 4 March 2010

"We've carried as if we've had something to hide ... We are not a secret society, but we are a society with secrets." The moment of crisis came last year when the fraternity learned [a] new book - The Lost Symbol - would be about Freemasonry.Fearing it would do for their club what The Da Vinci Code did for Catholicism, the Grand Master and others conceived the new book as a corrective.....Women are banned from membership. They are still allowed to serve the "supper" at some of the Lodge meetings, but full membership? No. This club is strictly for men.... Further, to be admitted you have to believe in God, or at least a "supreme being" (more).

Philippine bishops call for condom ads ban
Extract from  Catholic News, Thursday March 04, 2010

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called for a complete ban on condom ads in the country, saying it desensitises the country's youth and weakens their "moral fibre". In a statement, CBCP President Nereo Odchimar said the condom business is a "multimillion dollar industry that heavily targets the adolescent market, at the expense of morality and family life," reports the ABS-CBN News website(more).

British Lords vote to allow gay civil ceremonies in church
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday March 04, 2010

The House of Lords has voted to amend Britain's Equality Bill to allow, but not compel, religious organisations to host same sex couples holding civil partnership ceremonies inside churches. Peers voted by a majority of 74 in favour of the amendment, which was not backed by the government, BBC reports, but it is thought to be unlikely that MPs would make any significant changes (more). 

US bishops' directive on feeding tubes meet criticism
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 2 March 2010

bishops that Catholic health facilities must provide food and water even to "chronic" and irreversibly vegetative patients is colliding with patients' wishes. An elderly woman taken last year to St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had suffered a massive stroke and could no longer speak, eat or drink. Although she had an advance directive specifying no artificial hydration or nutrition if she weren't going to recover, her nephew insisted the local bishop's directive on use of feeding tubes required the Catholic hospital to install one, according to Kaiser Health News (more). 

Churches Celebrate the milestones of unity and mission
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Tuesday 2 March 2010

Thousands of Australian Christians are preparing to reflect and pray together as they celebrate the milestones of unity and mission.  This year the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place in the context of the 100th anniversary of the landmark 1910 World Mission Conference in Edinburgh.  Appropriately the theme for this year has been prepared for churches around the world by a group from Scotland (more). 

Vatican Observatory now on iPhone
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 26 February 2010

The Vatican Observatory is launching its own iPhone app targeting the world's 1.5 billion Catholics.The announcement last week follows Pope Benedict's recent encouragement of all parts of the Vatican to reach people worldwide through new technology. The Vatican Observatory iPhone App will come loaded with daily and weekly audio, and video inspirational and devotional content with bonus transcripts, scripture references and commentary (more). 

Youth Health
Extract from Orygen Youth Services, Thursday 25 February 2010

One in four young people will experience a mental health issue at any time in the next 12 months. In Australia

Adolescence and early adulthood are crucial periods of physical, social, educational and vocational development, and the failure to recognise and treat mental illness can have lasting adverse effects in all these areas. Early intervention is required to minimise the impact of mental illness on a young person’s learning, growth and development, thus improving the health outcome of those affected by mental illness. Orygen Youth Healthrange of fact sheets on mental health issues.
between 20-25% of young people aged 12-17 and 25-40% of those aged 18-24 have mental health disorders. The development of mental health problems between the ages of 12 and 26 is therefore more likely than at any other stage of life. produce a

Haitians remain in dire circumstances as media attention wanes
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne,Thursday 25 February 2010

The Vatican's newspaper reported on Tuesday that just six weeks after the catastrophic earthquake, the plight of Haitians has already become old news, even though the situation remains "dramatic." L'Osservatore Romano (LOR) observed that the decrease in interest can be seen in the declining presence of international media on the island and in the fact that relief and reconstruction activities are suffering from a lack of supervision (more).

Celibacy vow is cruel, archaic: judge
Extract from Josh Jerga, The Age, Wednesday 24 February 2010

The vow of celibacy imposed on Catholic clergy is "cruel" and "archaic", a judge has said, in jailing a priest for grooming a 13-year-old girl for sex over the internet (more).

A home-grown saint – it's gold, gold, gold for Australia
Extracts from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Tuesday 23 February 2010

For 40 years Garry McLean has longed for an Australian saint. Growing up, he was taught about Joan of Arc and St Patrick of Ireland and found them inspirational, but he wanted an Australian saint, a model to whom he could feel closer........But amid the rejoicing, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the canonisation of saints is something of an odd business. The Roman Catholic Church lists more than 10,000 saints,  some better known than others. Pope John Paul II canonised more — 476 of them — in his 27-year pontificate than any pope in the previous 500 years (more).

Boys with knives
Extract fron Moira Rayner, Eureka Street, February 23, 2010
Last week the lives of two Queensland families were ruined. One 12-year-old boy stabbed another, who died, in a playground before school started. One was buried over the weekend, and the other was refused bail when he was charged with murder. Both families are devastated. The school is in shock. It was a Catholic school. This has nothing to do with the intimacy of violence (more). Subscription to Eureka Street is free.

Inviting Bishops to part of your Lenten journey
John Costa, Friday 19 February 2010

In a number of ways the Church is starting to use new technology well. Each week during Lent Australian Catholic Bishops are now sharing with us via online video their personal understanding of Lenten Gospel readings, in "The Reflection".This is not a theological discourse but a very human and helpful weekly set of views that many may find both very accessible and very helpful. This innovative and positive Lenten experience may be viewed here. Image ©Jean Roth,The First United Methodist Church of Millersville

Australia's first saint
Extract from Caroline Overington, The Australian, Friday 19 January 2010

The Pope will today confirm the status of Mary Mackillop as Australia's first saint, with official word due in Rome's St Peter's Square this afternoon. Australia's ambassador to the Holy See, Tim Fischer, will be on hand for the announcement, as will Sister Maria Casey of the Sisters of St Joseph and while there is surely nothing between heaven and earth that will prevent Australian Catholics from celebrating the moment, it's not yet clear whether it's a moment for more general Aussie pride (more).

The right of laity to be critical
Extract of commentary by Dr Andria Kania, Director of Spirituality, Aquinas College, Cathilica Friday 19 Feb. 2010

One of the most striking lessons that can be learned from the findings of the Commission (of Investigation Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin), is that a respect and a commitment to the Church, by the laity — should not at any stage preclude the laity from being critical of the leadership and the organizations that operate under Her name (more).

Time to get serious about Youth Ministry: Bishop                                                              Extract from Catholic News, Friday 19 February 2010               

Youth ministers must have "the fire in the belly", be disciplined and have the academic knowledge, says the Australian Bishops Delegate for Youth, Bishop Joseph Grech. Speaking of his vision for youth ministry in the country, Bishop Grech recalled the "colour, excitement, passion, enthusiasm and the energy of thousands of young people", but underscored that enthusiasm and goodwill weren't in themselves enough (more).

 Australian Bishops Go Online for Lent
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 10 February 2010

As Catholics begin to plan their Lenten journey this year, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is calling on people to take up a new and exciting challenge.
“Instead of just giving up something for Lent, why not take up something as well,” said ACBC Commission for Mission and Faith Formation Chair, Archbishop John Bathersby. “This year we are asking that you consider spending time with friends and family reflecting on the Scriptures that lead us to this joyous celebration of the Church”, he said (details here).  Also see Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Denis Hart.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference now on Facebook
ACBC, Wednesday 10 February 2010

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has created a new page on Facebook which will contain information, media releases, photos and forums about the work and ministry of the ACBC. To engage with the ACBC on Facebook you can either search Facebook using the words Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or visit here.

Vatican idea for an ecumenical catechism
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 9 February 2010
A Vatican official has proposed a shared "ecumenical catechism" among Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and members of Reformed churches, as a fruit of four decades of dialogue (more). 

Hanover Catholic Church asks  for forgiveness
Extract from Der Spiegel, Monday 8th February 2010

In an unprecedented admission of guilt, the Catholic Church in the German city of Hanover responded on Sunday to the current abuse scandal. "The entire institution is guilty because it fostered a 'please don't talk about it' mentality," the regional Catholic deacon, Provost Martin Tenge, said during Sunday services at the Hanover Basilica (more).

Exorcism chapel opened in Mexico
Extract from Cecilia Barria, BBC News, Mexico City, Sunday 7 February 2010

A Mexican church in the central city of Queretaro has opened a chapel in which exorcisms can take place.There are no accurate figures for the number of exorcisms in Mexico. But the Roman Catholic Church says that in Mexico City alone there are about 10 cases a month - and the phenomenon is on the rise. Critics say that priests often mistake mental illness or epilepsy for signs of possession. The new church will only treat people already seen by doctors (more). Image: Flickr-Nullerz

Koreans Here to stay

Wednesday 3 February 2010
Since their first arrival at St Bernadette's some years ago the Korean Catholic community has been a source of inspiration and energy. They have been made most welcome and have settled in well. Very recently there was a distinct possibility that they might move to a location closer to where many of their members live, however after due process they have decided to stay put in Ivanhoe West. During World Youth Day in particular the Ivanhoe Parish and Korean community worked especially closely (see Days In the Diocese page). It was hoped that this might lead to further interaction, particularly between young people. Whilst this has not happened we re-welcome them and wish them well.

Brief History of our Parish - at last coming soon
Parish Communication Group, Friday 12 February 2010

For several years now volunteers have been painstakingly working on a brief history of the Catholic Parish of Ivanhoe. It's an uplifting and hitherto untold story rich in interest, and of some remarkable people. It is also a must for anyone wanting to better understand our Parish today, and perhaps a key to helping us move ahead successfully. Shortly details will be provided on how to acquire a copy of this encouraging story of the Ivanhoe journey so far.

Haiti thank you
Friday 5th February, Fr John 
Sincere thanks to all for the generous contributions for those in need as a result of the circumstances in Haiti. Parish contributions raised a total of $3,109.35 and will be sent to Caritas Haiti Emergency Relief.

Fr Brian Bainbridge passes away
John Costa, Thursday 4 February 2009

Fr Brian Bainbridge peacefully passed away at his St Scholastica Presbytery on Tuesday 2nd February, aged 71.  For some in Ivanhoe who may not know of him an Internet search will reveal an extraordinary and much loved priest whose positive influence extended beyond the Church and parish to the international corporate and academic worlds as Consultant and Lecturer. I first met him shortly after his ordination (a year after Fr Len) when he was appointed first student Chaplain at RMIT, and immediately gained the respect and friendship of large numbers of students, Catholic and otherwise. As a sign of ongoing friendship he later officiated at many of their weddings. Bishop Tomlinson said on Tuesday that "Father Brian served the Church in a very positive and pastorally enriching manner, giving fine example to both his brother priests and the community for over 43 years.  The Archdiocese is most grateful for his untiring service to the Church of Melbourne." As published in one of his  books and demonstrated in practice Fr Brian also championed a model of Parish life that was bottom up rather than top down. His communication skills starting early with a TV Epilogue and Mass For You At Home were exceptional. He will be sadly missed. Photo: Flickr, Peggy Holman

Britain backs down on church reform law
Extract from Paola Totaro, Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday 4 February 2010

The British government has caved in to pressure from the Pope and churches by abandoning controversial reforms that would have forced religious groups to abide by anti-discrimination laws (more).

At National Prayer Breakfast, Obama warns against 'erosion of civility'
Extract from Michael A Fletcher, The Washington Post, Thursday 4 February 2010

President Obama bemoaned the "erosion of civility" in the nation's political debate Thursday, telling an audience at the National Prayer Breakfast that there is a growing sense that "something is broken" in Washington (more).

Pope attacks Britain's gay equality laws
Edited Extract from Paola Totary, The Age, Wednesday 3 February 2010

Pope Benedict has attacked Britain's reform of human rights and equality legislation, saying religious employers should be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals (more). In an Editorial "Gay Rights Reveal Papal Blind Spot" The Age comments that "The state must not tell churches who should be ordained, for example. But the hiring of a physics teacher for a church school is hardly a comparable decision, and when churches claim that it is they succeed only in demonstrating that their commitment to social justice is a selective one" (more).

Parish Leadership Team meeting,  Monday 1 February 2010                                        

A brief report on this meeting can be found on the Leadership Team page.

Should God or the US "take over" Haiti?
Incorporating an edited extract from Peter Slevin, The Washington Post, Monday 1 February 2010
"I want the Americans to take over the country. The Haitian government can't do anything for us," said Jean-Louis Geffrard, a laborer who lives under a tarp in the crowded square. "When we tell the government we're hungry, the government says, 'We're hungry, too.' ". An included "Photo Gallery" of Haiti from today back to the devastating 1st day of the earthquake provides a powerful visual perspective of what has happened so far, an indication of what needs to be done, by someone,  and perhaps also begs questions on where God might be in all of this. The gallery (following a brief advertisement) contains a warning about the graphic and violent nature of some if its images (more).

Sundance Film Festival Prize and  Mother of God Church
Monday 1 February 2010

Animal Kingdom, the film story of a 17-year-old trying to uncover the fate of her father among the criminal clans of the Ozark Mountains, earned the grand jury prize for American dramas at Sundance, Robert Redford’s showcase for independent cinema, at the final day on Saturday. It's not often that Guy Pearce or Ben Mendelsohn attend Mother of God Church, but they and other actors did during part of the filming there last March (there are further pictures on the website Photo Gallery page - photos by Joe Chiera). 

Parish Date for your diary
This notice posted Tuesday 5 January 2010

Following the overwhelmingly successful parish Dinner Dance last year another such event is being organised for 2010. Now is a good time to note Saturday 24th July in your diary. This year's event is being organised by Parish Leadershop Team executive member Paul McEvey and an "Advance Notice" for the event may be downloaded here. Some photos from last year's event, including the one shown here, may be seen on the website Photo Gallery page

Resumption of 5pm Mass at MI
Friday 29 January 2010
Mass will be again celebrated at 5pm at Mary Immaculate Church starting on February 7th.
This will continue for the foreseeable future but, considering the situation of our parish, circumstances may bring about a change. 

Australia "most sinful" nation on earth
Extract from Catholic News, Friday January 29, 2010
Australians top the list as the world's most envious people in a global tally of the seven deadly sins. They also score highly for the other six, making Australia the "most sinful nation" on earth, according to a BBC magazine show. While America is dominated by gluttony and greed, South Africa by wrath, and Japan and South Korea by their lustful natures, Australians take the prize for envy, the Herald Sun reported (more).

Pope remembers Holocaust victims
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Thursday 28 January 2010
Pope Benedict concluded his Wednesday General Audience by acknowledging that today is “Holocaust Remembrance Day” and praying that God would illuminate people’s hearts and minds so that “such tragedies never happen again.”(more) Image: Flickr, Ripozzo

Archbishop praises papal decree for encouraging Catholic-Anglican dialogue
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, Wednesday 27 January 2010
The president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said this week that the publication of the apostolic constitution allowing Anglicans the option of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church “will have important consequences” in England (more).

Act in haste, repent at leisure
Extract from Michael G Ryan, The Tablet, Tuesday 26 January 2010 (1st published 16/01)

Catholics in most of the English-speaking world will be
introduced to a new translation of the Mass over the next 18
months. However more than 10,000 people from 43 countries
have joined in a campaign for the text to be given a test run first.
Here, the founder of the campaign makes the case (more)

Pope confronted at synagogue over Pious XII’s wartime record
Edited Extract from Robert Mickens The Tablet, Saturday 23 January 2010

Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to Rome’s main synagogue has been marked by an awkward public disagreement over whether the late Pius XII sufficiently spoke out against the Holocaust. “The silence of Pius XII regarding the Shoah still causes pain,” said the president of Rome’s Jewish community. More than 1,000 Roman Jews were rounded up by German soldiers in 1943 and, after being held for two days in a military prison one mile from the Vatican, were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Pope Benedict was visibly troubled by these words, which were the bluntest ever addressed publicly to him on this issue (more).

Act in haste, repent at leisure
Extract from Michael G Ryan, The Tablet, Tuesday 26 January 2010 (1st published 16/01)

Catholics in most of the English-speaking world will be
introduced to a new translation of the Mass over the next 18
months. However more than 10,000 people from 43 countries
have joined in a campaign for the text to be given a test run first.
Here, the founder of the campaign makes the case (more)

Pope confronted at synagogue over Pious XII’s wartime record
Edited Extract from Robert Mickens The Tablet, Saturday 23 January 2010

Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to Rome’s main synagogue has been marked by an awkward public disagreement over whether the late Pius XII sufficiently spoke out against the Holocaust. “The silence of Pius XII regarding the Shoah still causes pain,” said the president of Rome’s Jewish community. More than 1,000 Roman Jews were rounded up by German soldiers in 1943 and, after being held for two days in a military prison one mile from the Vatican, were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Pope Benedict was visibly troubled by these words, which were the bluntest ever addressed publicly to him on this issue (more).

Leaving Collections for those affected by earthquakes in Haiti
Fr John, Friday 22 January 2010
On the weekend of 30 - 31st January, there will be Leaving Collections at each church to support and assist those in need in Haiti. On the Reflection of the Week page see the challenging photograph, and prayer, for those affected.

Gunning for Jesus
Edited Extract from The Australian, Friday 22 January 2010

An American company says it will stop adding biblical references to the so-called Jesus sights for rifles used by Australian soldiers. Trijicon triggered an international uproar when US soldiers in Afghanistan discovered that letters and figures they thought were simply stock or model numbers referred to passages from the Bible.One example was JN8:12 which turned out to be a reference to chapter eight, verse 12 in the Book of John: “When Jesus spoke again to the people he said ‘I am the light of the world’." (more). Photo The Australian.

Vatican talks could become "dialogue of the deaf": bishop
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 22 January 2010

While Pope Benedict has urged for persistence in achieving unity with the Society of St Pius X, the group's Bishop Richard Williamson, says talks with the Vatican could end up a "dialogue of the deaf".In an interview in French on January 14 on the website Dailymotion, Bishop Williamson said both sides had "absolutely irreconcilable" positions, according to a report on the Reuters' Faith World site (more).

Doctor testifies in faith healing trial
Edited extract from ReligionNewsBlog, USA, Friday 22 January 2010

Medical experts in the faith-healing trial of Marci and Jeff Beagley, whose son Neil died due to an inflammation in his urinary system, said Neil’s condition was the worst they’d ever seen with that condition for his age. Prosecutors today showed autopsy photos and discussed the particulars of what happened in the death of 16-year-old Neil Beagley, whose parents are charged with criminally negligent homicide in his death.Neil died on June 17, 2008. He and his parents chose to use faith healing rather than call doctors. They are members of Oregon City’s Followers of Christ Church (more).

Pope's Synagogue visit seen as "Sign of Continuity"
Extract from Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne,Thursday 21 January 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to Rome's Synagogue was an important step on the way to understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Christians, says the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni. On Sunday 17 January, the Pope became the second Pontiff to visit the Synagogue of Rome. Pope John Paul II was the first, in 1986. It was Pope Benedict XVI's third visit to a synagogue, after visits in Cologne and New York.

WA monastic town loses last Spanish monk
Extract from Andrea Hayward, WA Today, Tuesday 19 January 2010

The Benedictine community of Australia's only monastic town has lost its link to the monastery's founders with the death of its last Spanish-born monk. Dom Paulino Gutierrez died on Monday, aged 99, after battling a chest infection. New Norcia, 132 km northeast of Perth, has been home to a community of Benedictine monks since Spanish missionaries established the town in 1847 (more).

Churches destroyed in Port-au-Prince
Extract from Catholic News,Friday 15 January 2010

The Apostolic Nuncio of Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, says "all the great churches, all the seminaries" in Port-au-Prince have been "reduced to rubble", the Fides Service reports."Port-au-Prince is completely devastated," he is quoted as saying."The pastor of the Cathedral, who survived the earthquake, told me that the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince perished under the rubble, along with hundreds of seminarians and priests who are under the rubble (more).

Beginning Again
Merle Gilbo, Friday 15 January 2010

Our weekly Liturgy planning keeps trying to ‘link liturgy with life.’ We meet each Thursday at the Parish Office from 9am – 10am. Come if you can. Come when you can. All contributions are needed and most welcome. If you’d like to talk about it please catch me when you see me or email me at this website.

Opinion - neuroscience Vs God
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 15 January 2010

Each time I walk through a forest park and absorb the smell of the trees and the undergrowth, and listen as the breeze natters with the leaves, I feel myself enveloped and held in a calm and tranquil peace. In this intimate union with past generations I feel united with my God. Writing in the Sunday Times in London, Jonathan Leake and Andrew Sniderman reported on how neuroscience has been exploring the phenomenon of religious experience. They considered whether the findings from research into particular regions of the brain meant that "people are programmed to get a feeling of spirituality from what is nothing more than electrical activity in these regions".

Call for new members for the Parish Leadership Team for 2010.
The practice for the past few years has been to call for new members for the PLT to begin the New Year. We have a very exciting year ahead – your contribution would be very valuable. The nomination form may be downloaded here, or phone Chris Dixon 9499 6191. Nominations close 5pm Wednesday 27 January 2010.

New morality is a steal
Edited extract from Barney Zwartz, The Age, Tuesday 13 January 2010

Yorkshire Anglican priest Tim Jones promulgated a(n) amendment to the eighth commandment, ''thou shalt not steal'', in his Christmas sermon. He advised parishioners that it was OK to shoplift if they were desperate - much better than burglary, mugging or prostitution - but they should target big stores that could pass the costs on through slightly higher prices (more). Image Flickr, lowsl 

Campaign for Caroline Chisholm sainthood
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 8 January 2010

Following Mary MacKillop's forthcoming ascent to sainthood, there are moves to push the case for similar recognition of Caroline Chisholm, for her work among immigrants in Colonial Australia (more). 

Alternative schoolies trip to Philippines an eye-opener
Extract from Catholic News, Friday 8 January 2010

An "alternative schoolies immersion trip" last month to the Philippines proved to be an eye-opener for Victorian school students.Former Catholic College Bendigo student Nigel Self said the two-week trip brought them face to face with the extremely poor living conditions people deal with around the world (more).

Ballarat diocese allows Mass cancellation in extreme fire danger
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 7 January 2010

Ballarat Bishop Peter Connors has given a directive that priests can cancel weekday or weekend masses when the Country Fire Authority issues a catastrophic fire danger warning.The Ballarat diocese is believed to be the first in Victoria to approve the cancellation of services in Code Red circumstances (more).

Priest calls for rethink on housing the homeless
Extract from Pia Akerman, The Australian, Thursday 7 January 2010

The man who helped to turn around the number of people sleeping on South Australian streets, when all the other states recorded increases, has called for Kevin Rudd to drastically revise his approach to homelessness.David Cappo, a Catholic priest who is Premier Mike Rann's Social Inclusion Commissioner, said the commonwealth's plan to reduce homelessness by 20 per cent by 2013 and halve the problem by 2020 would "disintegrate" if an external body was not appointed to monitor and supervise the bureaucracy (more).

Pope to visit Rome synagogue despite tension
Extract from Catholic News, Tuesday 5 January 2010

The Jewish community of Rome has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI would visit the city's synagogue as scheduled this month, despite Jewish groups' displeasure over the recent elevation of World War II era Pope Pius XII to "venerable". The pope's visit will take place on January 17 as part of "a day to deepen and further develop the dialogue between Jews and Catholics," the Jewish community's statement said, according to Agence France-Presse (more). 

Clericalism’s malign influence
Extract from Editorial, The Tablet, Monday 4 January 2009

The crisis surrounding the sexual abuse of children by priests has been used, particularly in the United States, to raise a hue and cry against homosexuality among the clergy. The fault, in other words, was too much tolerance. This illiberal scapegoating has enabled some conservative church leaders to divert attention from deeper structural and cultural problems that led not just to the abuse itself but to the scandal of the many notorious cover-ups by senior church officials. These often left abusers free to continue their abuse and do even more damage to young people (more).

Religious life as prophetic life form 'The pernicious appeal for blind obedience'
Extract from Opinion Piece, Sr. Sandra Schneiders, National Catholic Reporter, Monday 4 January 2010

When the  Vatican investigation of U.S. women religious was announced some months ago without any preparation, consultation, or even the courtesy of a notification to congregational leaders that it was about to happen, many people, religious and laity alike, were stunned at what seemed like a surprise attack aimed at a most unlikely target, given the massive and unaddressed problems besetting the clergy and hierarchy at the moment (more).

Aide visits woman who knocked down pope
Extracts from The Washington Times, Monday 4 January 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's personal aide visited the mentally disturbed woman who jumped over a barrier and knocked down the pontiff in St. Peter's Basilica on Christmas Eve, a Vatican spokesman said Sunday.Benedict asked his secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, to pay a call on Susanna Maiolo, 25, "to show his interest and benevolence," the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Associated Press in a telephone interview...."Every Christian pardons," Father Lombardi said. (more).

Homeless need mental health support
Extract from Adam Creswell, Health editor, The Australian, Monday 4 January 2010

The Rudd government will fail to meet its target of slashing homelessness by half over the next decade because it is failing to acknowledge the role of mental health issues in fuelling the problem. Health experts say that despite the government pouring $6 billion into increased public housing stock in coming years, the homelessness initiative will help people with mental health problems only if support packages are provided to ensure they remain on track and to prevent them falling back on to the street (more). ED The Parish Wellbeing group is a member of Mental Illness Fellowshop Victoria which says it is essential "to see mental illness as a major cause of homelessness".

What do children want? Time, not toys
Extract from opinion piece Julia Medew, The Age, Saturday 2 January 2010

While most Australian children continue to throw their Christmas presents around this weekend, breaking many along the way, one expert has a word of advice for their parents: forget about showering them with gifts, do not over-schedule their time and get down on their level to engage with them as much as you can (more). Photo:Flickr-Elwin (Skyline Studio)

1000 years of power, pen and papacy brought to light
Extract from Nick Squires, The Age, Saturday 2 January 2010

A 13TH century letter from Genghis Khan's grandson demanding homage from the pope is among a collection of documents from the Vatican's Secret Archives that has been published for the first time. The Holy See's archives contain scrolls, parchments and leather-bound volumes with correspondence dating back more than 1000 years (more).

Parish Office on reduced steam:
The Parish Office will be attended at different intervals from Dec 25– 8 Jan as Ruth Villani will be on leave. Notices such as deaths, anniversaries and prayers for the sick will be noted and where possible included as part of Prayers of the Faithful within Mass the weekend of 16-17 January 2010, and can be included in the newsletter if wished. Phone messages, urgent or otherwise, may be left at either 9499 5440 or 9499 1515.

Ireland confronts its sex abuse crisis
Extract from National Catholic Reporter, Tuesday 29 December 2009

The recent government investigation into clergy sex abuse in Ireland, which produced a scathing critique of church officials and their role in attempting to protect the reputation of the institution at the expense of young victims, has resulted in the resignation of four bishops and sparked calls for cutting the number of dioceses in Ireland and for deep reform of the hierarchical culture (more).

Whatever happened to secular democracy?
Extract from The Australian, Ross Fitzgerald, Monday 28 December 2009

Suddenly, religion is making inroads again into Australian politics and our secular society. Not only have we now got a devout believer as Prime Minister but the Opposition Leader is even more devout (more). 

From Fr John, at Advent
Thursday 24 December 2009

For me, this time of year – Advent - has always been a time of waiting, a time of seeing and observing, a time of reflecting. As a child I waited for Santa, for presents, and even waited for Baby Jesus. But as I have grown older, the ‘Baby Jesus’ factor has assumed a significance that gives life and hope to my world view, and to our world, I think. The Baby Jesus of my childhood became the man who walked our earth and showed us how to live and die. The child gave us a model of what it means to be truly human, and what human existence must be about! As I get into old age – very old age – I see more and more that God is with us so that you and I can give life and hope to each other, to our parish and to our world!

The Simpsons rule: Vatican paper
Extract from Catholic News, Thursday 24 December 2009

Marking the 20th anniversary of "The Simpsons", Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano said despite the regrettable crude language and occasions of violence, "serious analysts praise the realism and intelligence of its scripts." The paper described the show as a "tender and irreverent, scandalous and ironic, boisterous and profound, philosophical and sometimes even theological, nutty synthesis of pop culture and of the lukewarm and nihilistic American middle class," the Catholic News Service reports (more). 


Bishops vote on new translation of Missal
Extract from Catholic News, Monday 21 December 2009

The Australian bishops have completed their final canonical vote regarding the approval of the texts for the new English translation of the Roman Missal, The Catholic Weekly reports.Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy, told the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference that it is now expected the new Missal will be published in early 2011 (more).


Path cleared for Mary MacKillop to be granted sainthood

Extract from The Australian, AAP, Sunday 20 December 2009

MARY MacKillop has earned her stripes to become a saint and all Australians should try to behave more like her, Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell says. Mother Mary's second miracle was approved by the VaticanAustralia's first saint. Cardinal Pell said Mother Mary fought many battles within the Church when establishing the Sisters of St Joseph, and the dozens of schools they created to educate children (more).  overnight, paving the way for her Canonisation and the honour of becoming

Parish end-of-year Letter

Overview and comments on letter from Pat Kelly, Chair Parish Leadership Team, Friday 18 December 2009

A letter from PLT Chair Pat Kelly has been published and is available here for download. In reporting on the last year it tells the story of a Parish with very many things of significance going on and many positive developments. As condensed in a single letter it further serves to remind us of the vitality and promise that exists in the Parish. Whilst all this is happening it is very much because of volunteers. What the letter doesn't directly say is that such sustained effort can't go in forever without new volunteers to support or replace those who have already been serving the Parish well for many years, like their predecessors. Christmas is a good time to reflect on all this, and on ways we might possibly be able  assist if we wish all these good things to continue and improve.

And now André Rieu visits Parish

CPI Newsroom, Wednesday 16 December 2009

No expense is too great nor trouble too much for the good people of Ivanhoe Parish! A capacity crowd enjoyed  today's fine Christmas luncheon after a Healing Mass this morning, and were entertained after lunch by André Rieu. Whilst it was actually via DVD it could almost have been live given the large screen and fine sound system used for this special Christmas concert. This was another successful event arranged by the Parish Outreach/Wellbeing Group and judging by the time people stayed and their reaction the event was greatly enjoyed. Prior to André's appearance guests responded to an invitation to share Christmas stories or other items (good jokes!). Kathie spoke about her childhood memories of Christmas in Hungary, celebrating Saint Nicolas on Dec 24th and the Birth of Christ on the 25th. Special thanks to the volunteers who made the day possible, and successful.




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