July 21, 2017

Author Archive | Catherine Sheehan


China’s harvest of blood, built upon Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience

“Can I show you our family photo?” Lorrita Liu asks me towards the end of our interview. The 38 year-old from Xi’an City in Shaanxi Province in China reverently takes a framed photo from a bag and shows it to me. “For me,” she says in broken English, “this is the only family photo.” The […]

A destroyed car is seen outside a school in Homs, Syria. Two car bombs exploded near the school in October 2014, killing at least 47 school children. For many Christians throughout the MIddle East and further afield in continents like Africa this violence has become a daily reality. Source: Jesuit Refugee Service

Deadly to Believe: Modern martyrdom now a daily reality for many

It seems that what has been the case for some time is starting to be acknowledged publicly — that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today. Over the past few years Pope Francis has spoken repeatedly about the persecution of Christians around the world, condemning both the persecution and the deafening […]

Heroines: Jane Austen's novels include strong female characters who learn from their own folly and the follies around them, including Catherine Morland, played by Felicity Jones in a 2007 ITV adaptation of Northanger Abbey.

Much more than amiable: Jane Austen still thrilling, 200 years on

On 18 July this year it will be 200 years since the world lost one of its greatest writers—Miss Jane Austen (1775 –1817). Of enormous popularity today, all of Austen’s major novels—Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (1817)—have been made into films, plays and […]


Standing with the suffering Church: An interview with Regina Lynch

“What would I have done? Would I have had the courage to hold out as long as they have?” Regina Lynch often asks herself these questions after meeting Christians around the world who have been persecuted for their faith. As someone who has worked for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for 36 years, […]

Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy Cardinal George Pell with  Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila and Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Philippines, leave a meeting with Pope Francis in the synod hall at the Vatican on 20 February, 2014. Photo: CNS

Bishops call for justice to be allowed to take its natural course

Australia’s most senior bishops called for justice to be allowed to take its course after the former Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, was charged with sexual abuse offences last week. Cardinal Pell, who is currently Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy at the Vatican, was charged by Victoria Police on 29 June with […]

A happy union: Sr Margaret Mary Birgan (centre), Congregational Leader of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, is pictured with Sr Clare Nolan, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity, and Bishop Anthony Randazzo at the signing of a document affecting the absorption of the Nurses into the Sisters of Charity. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Eileen O’Connor’s nurses continue in Charity

The religious order founded by the woman who could one day be named as another Australian saint, will operate—as of 1 July this year—under the leadership of the Sisters of Charity. Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, founded by Eileen O’Connor and Fr Edward McGrath in 1913, have dwindled in numbers over recent decades with […]

Conductor Eugene Raggio takes the Artes Christi Choir through one of the most widely loved choral pieces in history: Handel’s Messiah. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Artes Christi takes full flight with recording of Handel’s Messiah

Handel’s Messiah is again set to inspire listeners across Australia following the release of a new CD recording by Artes Christi, launched on 11 June by Bishop Richard Umbers. “God finds a way to the soul through music,” explained Bishop Umbers, as he congratulated the work of the “youth Choir and youth Orchestra who have […]

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Cathedral choir offers sumptuous selection for upcoming concert

The oldest musical institution in Australia – St Mary’s Cathedral Choir in Sydney – is set to perform a concert that Music Director, Thomas Wilson, hopes will give people a unique encounter with sacred music. The choir – which turns 200 years old next year – will perform works by J S Bach, Benjamin Britten […]


Catholic schools in Sydney welcome Syrian and Iraqi refugee kids

Over 400 children from war-torn Syria and Iraq have been taken in by Catholic schools around Sydney, and that number will continue to rise over the coming months. These incredibly vulnerable children have fled with their families from the terror of ISIS and civil war in their homelands, and have been welcomed into Sydney’s Catholic schools […]


Mentors show the way forward for women in the Church

At the final resting place of Australia’s first official saint – a woman – a new initiative was recently launched aimed at inspiring and empowering women to use their unique God-given gifts in the service of the Church and others. The new Australian Catholic Women’s Mentoring Program was launched on 20 May at Mary MacKillop […]

Author Ryan Messmore and Sydney media identity Miranda Devine who launched his latest book in Sydney, April 27. PHOTO: Supplied

Ryan Messmore New book inspired by ancient betrothal practices – and conversion

When Dr Ryan Messmore and his future wife, Karin, were dating at university, they longed for a deeper, more meaningful story about love and marriage, than what they were hearing from the hook-up culture around them. They wanted something better than the cultural narrative of sex as merely physical pleasure and marriages that last only […]

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with youth of the Emmnanuel Community and Sydney priest Fr Josh Miechels, who first discerned his calling to the priesthood through the Community. PHOTO: Supplied

Emmanuel Community begins new ‘Fire and Hope’ youth evangelisation initiative

‘Fire and Hope’ is an exciting new initiative seeking to form young Catholics as missionary disciples and evangelisers in today’s world. Run by the Emmanuel Community, ‘Fire and Hope’ is a mission for young adults aged 18 to 25, consisting of monthly Masses, Eucharistic adoration, praise, talks and social time. Held on the third Sunday […]