October 19, 2017

Author Archive | Natasha Marsh


Lee family can stay as government bows to pressure

After nearly ten years of waiting in visa-limbo, the Lee family is at last able to “call Australia home”. Following front-page coverage by The Catholic Weekly on 6 August, representation from two Melbourne MPs and advocacy from a multicultural lobby organisation the Lees received a letter granting them a Permanent Residence Visa on 10 August. […]

Stephanie Duflou. PHOTO: Laura Cheung, iCapture Photography

The hidden financial – and emotional – forces in play in the push for euthanasia

After TV journalist, Andrew Denton, had his famous “conversion” to euthanasia, he described his father’s last moments in harrowing detail. Likening Kit Denton’s final struggle with heart failure to “waterboarding”, he explained watched his father spend “all day, every day fighting for breath.” “Watching my father Kit die remains the most profoundly shocking experience of […]


Natasha Marsh: A Nightmare: a tale of Australia’s immigration system

Last month, the Department of Immigration’s decision to send 88 Coptic Christians to Egypt was reversed due to media attention and public pressure. Friends, parishioners and associates are hoping for the same result for the Lee family of Melbourne who, in a shock decision announced on Friday 21 July, have been given until August 3 […]

Professor John Bergsma pictured giving a talk in Sydney. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Catholics who snub Scripture are missing out on Christ

Professor John Bergsma is Full Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. He is visiting Australia this week, spending two days in Sydney (18-19) and three days in Perth (20-22) on a tour sponsored by Parousia Media. While he might not be a household name in Australia – yet – the Old […]

Dr Tom Catena accepts the 2017 Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity on 27 May at a ceremony in Yerevan, Armenia. PHOTOS:
CNS/courtesy CMMB/Jaco Klamer/ Victor Boyko, Aurora Prize

The Mass-going, Rosary-praying doctor who has George Clooney for a fan

A major international prize recognising outstanding humanitarian work has been awarded to an American Catholic doctor for his selfless work over a decade in the war-torn Nuba mountains of South Sudan. The Aurora Prize awards a staggering $US1.1 million (approximately A$1,450,000) to a person who displays selfless courage and hope in the service of humanitarianism. […]

Sydney-based Ashraf Boshre applied to stay in Australia with his wife Amany, their three daughters, Maria, 24, Mira, 19 and Monica, 13 along with his elderly parents, his sister and her daughter. They recently received news that they would be allowed to stay after a ministerial fiat. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Coptic family can stay: Public pressure made all the difference, says organiser

After public pressure, media spotlighting and a Change.org petition, the Department of Immigration has granted asylum visas to Sydney-based Coptic Christian family Ashraf Boshra and his wife Amany along with their three daughters, Maria, 24, Mira, 19 and Monica, 13. This comes as a huge relief to the family, who were told just two weeks ago […]

Magnolia Tree actors Rohana Hayes (left), Ezra Bix and Helen Hopkins. PHOTO: The Magnolia Tree

Ending Mum: audiences vote to kill at The Magnolia Tree in Melbourne

“They killed her last night.” These were the first words Michael Griffith said to me the morning after his play, The Magnolia Tree, premiered in La Mama Theatre, Melbourne on Wednesday 17 May. The Magnolia Tree centres around three disconnected siblings – Jack (Ezra Bix), Vicki (Helen Hopkins) and Deb (Rohana Hayes) – who have […]

The biblical heroine Judith.

Surry Hills set to stun with baroque music never before performed in Australia

This Sunday, 18 June, there will be a one-time-only musical performance of ‘Judith’, featuring works by Baroque composers, Marc-Antoine Charpentier and Sébastien de Brossard, in the 1880 Hall attached to St Peter’s Church, Surry Hills. According to Eugene Raggio, Director of Music at St Peter’s, Surry Hills, and conductor for ‘Judith’, it is possibly the […]

Sydney-based Ashraf Boshre applied to stay in Australia with his wife Amany, their three daughters, Maria, 24, Mira, 19 and Monica, 13 along with his elderly parents, his sister and her daughter. Despite repeated killings of Christians in Egypt, their claims were rejected. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Coptic Christians fight to stay in Australia: How many more killings will it take?

The battle is on for the future of over 88 Coptic Christians living in Australia who have recently had their asylum visas denied. After years of waiting, 22 Coptic families have been told, without explanation, that their visa application has been denied, and to return to Egypt. One of these families is Sydney-based Ashraf Boshre, […]

As part of Series Fathers on Tap, Bishop Richard Umbers gives a talk at The Two Wolves: Community Cantina in Broadway, on 29 March.Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Want to evangelise the world? Study metaphysics, says Sydney’s Bishop Richard Umbers

In a recent talk given at the Theology of the Pub in Melbourne, Australia’s youngest Bishop, Richard Umbers, finished with a surprising statement: “If you really want to evangelise, learn metaphysics”. For many, ‘metaphysics’ conjures an image where a dusty lecturer in a dusty room, asks; “is a chair really a chair?” It is seen, […]

John Daly displays one of the many icons produced by the Icon School of St Luke, operating out of Melbourne’s Caroline Chisholm Library. PHOTO: Laura Cheung, iCapture Photography

How Great Thou Art: the icon school creating ‘windows to heaven’ in Melbourne

On the third level of Mitchell House–near the busy intersection of Lonsdale and Elizabeth streets–dedicated painters gather each week to pray and work. They are members of the Icon School of St Luke at the Caroline Chisholm Library, operating since May 2002 and led by iconographer and woodworker John Daly. While icons are the traditional […]


Musical provokes and pokes fun at attempts to make Assisted Suicide cool

I don’t think that someone is going to push me And truthfully that isn’t what I fear It’s worse, it’s that I’ll choose to die A willing volunteer These are the closing thoughts of Assisted Suicide: The Musical, a musical that lit-up the stage at the Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne for the 2017 Comedy Festival. The definition of […]