October 18, 2018

Archive | 2015

Photo: Lisa Johnston

Archbishop’s Homily: Mercy begins at home

Introduction Welcome to St Mary’s Cathedral for our Solemn Mass this morning. We are in the Octave of Christmas, that special time where Australia shuts down and families gather and we have an opportunity to fall silent before the mystery of the Babe of Bethlehem. Today, we celebrate a Jubilee of Families within the context […]

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Archbishop’s Homily: Christ is born in Bethlehem

The Germans called it the “Weihnachtsfrieden”; the French “La Trêve de Noël”; the English “the Christmas truce”. A century ago, at Christmas 1914 and 1915, soldiers on the Western Front rather than shepherds, abiding in the mud and blood of the trenches rather than the fields, heard carols sung not by angels but by their […]

Juliet Stevenson stars in a scene from the movie <i>The Letters</i>.Photo: CNS/MPRM Communications

Abuse probe draws crowds, but not the tale of a saintly servant of the poor

Issues affecting aspects of the Catholic Church have been given recent treatment by moviemakers and it appears that box office success is being afforded to an unfortunately negative story but eluding a more positive one. Spotlight, which focuses on a newspaper’s probe of the pattern of priestly misconduct in the Archdiocese of Boston, has drawn […]


Government payment cuts threaten single-income families

Children in two-parent families don’t deserve government support. That’s the message the Government and Opposition sent last month when they passed legislation to cut family payments for two-parent families, while other families still get cash payments. Government amendments to secure Labor Party support resulted in the bizarre situation where a sole parent earning up to […]

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On the outside looking in: a ministry for women with a loved one behind bars

The women are cautious when they gather on Friday evening, drawn from their homes across Sydney, with just one thing in common: a loved one behind bars. Shunned by friends and family, many have had no outlet for sharing their greatest hurt. Until now.  “It’s a hidden suffering,” says Sr Patty Andrew osu, a chaplain […]

A man lights a candle in Republique square in Paris on 14 November in memory of victims of terrorist attacks. Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring.

Christmas and the passion for purity

The feast of Christmas readily evokes images of innocence and purity, centred on the Christ-child in the manger at Bethlehem. Karl Schmude ponders the deep roots of the desire for purity, and its ramifications in history as well as in the current environment of terrorism. As terrorist attacks command the increasing attention of world leaders, […]

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Room in the inns of our hearts: Archbishop’s Christmas message

All of human experience is wrapped up in the Christmas story. At the first Christmas Mary and Joseph found no room at the inn for the birth of their child and had to flee with him as refugees into Egypt. As we prepare to receive thousands of refugees this Christmas and beyond we might ask: […]

An American priest hears a confession in 2013. Photo: CNS/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier

Why you should prepare for Christmas by making a good confession

“What do you want for Christmas?” is a question asked often enough. It is asked by those, who, in virtue of their love for us, want to please us. But what about God? What is the greatest good He desires for us for Christmas? The answer is profound. The goodness God desires for us is […]

Photo: Lisa Johnston

Christmas traditions help us to understand the event itself

Christmas is a central event in the religious and secular calendars of the West. For people of Christian faith, Christmas marks the point where the Divine plan for creation became manifest. The birth of Jesus is the point where the Divine being commits to humanity in an irrevocable manner – God joins with humanity forever […]

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Light, the tradition of Christmas

The British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once had a remarkable experience during a trip to Calcutta for a television report on the life of Mother Teresa and her Order, the Missionaries of Charity. He visited the House of the Dying, a large murky building in which the Sisters apply the balm of Christian love to the […]

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Why is Christmas so important? Explaining it to the kids

Recently my five year-old son asked me why Christmas is so important and while I think I gave him some good answers I suspect there may be more. How would you answer him? Actually, the Catechism of the Catholic Church answers your son’s question under the heading “Why did the Word become flesh?” It is […]

Dean and Nicole Clark with their six children. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

A Clark Christmas: full of family and faith

For Dean and Nicole Clark, this time of year brings memories of Christmas past, of babies in matching pyjamas, of bikes and cubby houses, and of six kids waking up before the sun. Now, the kids are teens and twenty-somethings who would rather sleep in on Christmas Day. But as Sharyn McCowen found out, the […]