Archbishop Dr George Pell wisely commented in His Grace under Fire? No Problem (CW 16/9): “One of the first things we’ve got to do, which is absolutely central, is to get more seminarians, so we have more priests, so
we can staff the parishes we’ve got.”
Something equally central is having better religious education in Catholic schools in order to get more vocations.
Australian bishops should seriously consider
placing all nuns back in convents and reintroducing the wearing of habits, especially when teaching in Catholic schools.
In my view the way to the religious life and the priesthood starts at the early age
when Catholic children are at school and are given good religious foundation.
Lay teachers may or may not be the right ones to give religious instructions.
Pupils will be more inclined to open their
hearts to a religious sister than to a lay teacher.
Once a child starts to live the faith, God’s grace works on the fertile soil and produces the bountiful results the church seeks, ie religious lives and
priests. If we fail, should we be surprised if the Catholic faith in Australia becomes a thing of the past?
Arthur H Archer
Lemon Tree Passage, NSW
Recently I had two enjoyable experiences of Catholic schools. One (which made me cry) was to hear, for the first time, Dorothea MacKellar’s My Country sung by primary school
boys (from Redfield College, Dural). An improvement on I am Australian.
The second was to see two parents, among many others, giving of their time and talents at the fête of Villa Maria school, Hunters Hill.
Mark Taylor was at the nets allowing visitors to bowl to him, and Pierre, the proprietor of the Chez Pierre salon in Hunters Hill, was giving haircuts at bargain rates.
In Face to Face with Fortune (CW 30/9) Fr Andrew Murray describes the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, as acting imprudently in the worst possible
way concerning the movement of refugees. He also states that the Federal Government saw in it opportunity to shore up electoral support in an election year,
I would remind Fr Murray that in recent times
Australia has given safe haven to the people of Kosovo and sent a peace keeping force into East Timor. These were the actions of government and the Australian people; of prudence to act in the best possible way.
Is Fr Murray suggesting that we expect to be able to control whatever is around us and that we reject the thought that we might have to live with uncertainty?
I would remind him that many of our
relatives who went to war to defend world peace experienced the reality of great uncertainty but went with courage and determination.
Fr Murray also states: “All most of us can do is observe and wonder.”
I believe we can encourage the UN through our politicians to continue to work diligently to lift economic sanctions that have been placed on Afghanistan.
I believe the great hope of the world is that
peace and harmony are restored to Afghanistan and the world in spite of the uncertainty.
East Maitland, NSW
sad, ignorant and dangerous position Australia’s Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, has taken by calling on Australians to condemn those desperate people who threw their children into the sea so that Australian personnel
would rescue them.
We hear and see conclusive accounts that refugees from Afghanistan are escaping a regime which denies women education and access to non-female doctors.
The ban on education for
females is only one of a long list of Afghani reasons to fear and flee.
Many people in Iraq also seem to have very good reason to become refugees.
These people are presented as queue jumpers, as if
there is some line they should join as at the outpatients’ clinic.
We are supposed to think they are somehow very naughty fellows if, in desperation, they do desperate things to escape and find safety.
What would you expect them to do? Meekly turn away from their last chance?
The Australians we know would quietly but proudly step forward and save the children of desperate parents making a last desperate
act of love.
General Secretary, Bishops’ Conference,
Papua New Guinea
The Australian Christian Democratic
Party (CDP) has candidates standing for the Senate at this election.
The CDP is not a party planning to enforce religious laws like compulsory church attendance.
But it’s a party based on the
principles found in the Bible – in particular fighting for the traditional family (individuals related by blood, marriage or adoption) as society’s foundation.
It confirms marriage as the union of a man and a
woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily, for life.
RESPONSE TO TERROR
Forceful response to terrorism must be
proportionate, so that we do not become the evil we seek to oppose.
On arriving in Kazakhstan on September 22 this year, the Pope referred to “the conviction that controversies must be resolved ... but by the
peaceful means of negotiation and dialogue”.