The Catholic Weekly https://www.catholicweekly.com.au The Church. All of it. Fri, 28 Feb 2020 03:49:35 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 Catholic Schools Week 2020 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/catholic-schools-week-2020/ Fri, 28 Feb 2020 03:45:16 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38865 Catholic Schools Week 2020 The ‘Catholic Schools Week 2020 Magazine’ is a timely way to celebrate Catholic education and the successes of another year. It is also a good opportunity to support the enrolment campaign by highlighting the distinct features of your school, of which there is much to be proud. Enjoy! CLICK HERE TO […]

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Catholic Schools Week 2020

The ‘Catholic Schools Week 2020 Magazine’ is a timely way to celebrate Catholic education and the successes of another year. It is also a good opportunity to support the enrolment campaign by highlighting the distinct features of your school, of which there is much to be proud.

Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

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Vatican City takes measures on COVID-19 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/vatican-city-takes-measures-on-covid-19/ Thu, 27 Feb 2020 22:53:39 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38842 Some indoor events and larger public events including Masses and baptisms have been postponed.

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Pope Francis greets people, including a woman wearing a mask as protection against the coronavirus, during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 26 February, 2020. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

The Vatican has implemented special health measures and cancelled some events as more than 500 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy.

Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed in Vatican City offices, and there is a nurse and a doctor on call at a Vatican clinic to give immediate assistance, Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni told Vatican News.

While there have been no diagnosed cases of the coronavirus in Vatican City, Bruni said on 24 February that Vatican health staff have worked with the Italian Ministry of Health on procedures which can be brought into action, and are in close contact with the regional authorities in Lazio.

“In compliance with the provisions of the Italian authorities, some events scheduled for the next few days in indoor places and with an important influx of public have been postponed,” Bruni said.

With Pope Francis’ Lenten retreat scheduled for March 1-6, there are no papal audiences scheduled for next week, but conferences in Rome and other indoor events have been cancelled.

People wear masks as protection against the coronavirus as Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Feb. 26, 2020. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

A conference schedule to take place March 5-6 at the Pontifical Gregorian University on the opening of Vatican archives of Pope Pius XII has been cancelled, as has a March 2-7 communications workshop at the Pontifical Urbaniana University for global representatives of the Pontifical Missions Societies.

An event for a book on Cardinal Celso Costantini 25 February, at which Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Luis Antonio Tagle, and Fernando Filoni were expected to speak, was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

As of 27 February, Pope Francis is still scheduled to give his Sunday Angelus address on March 1 before leaving for his Lenten retreat.

Pope Francis did not cancel his Wednesday general audience on 26 February, but he was later seen coughing during his Ash Wednesday Mass.

The pope chose not to attend a scheduled liturgy with priests in Rome on 27 February “due to a slight indisposition,” according to the Holy See press office. However, the pope’s other appointments, such as Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, took place as usual.

Italian authorities reported 528 cases of the coronavirus on 27 February with 14 deaths. Nearly all of the reported cases are in northern Italy. In response to the outbreak, Italian officials have also imposed quarantine restrictions on several towns in the Lombardy and Veneto regions, where most of the infections have occurred.

The Archdiocese of Milan suspended Masses beginning on the evening of 23 February until further notice. The Patriarch of Venice, Archbishop Francesco Moraglia, suspended Masses and other liturgical celebrations, including baptisms and Stations of the Cross, until Sunday March 1.

In Rome’s region of Lazio there have been just three reported cases: an Italian, who has recovered, and two Chinese tourists, who are being treated in a hospital.

“I wish to express again my closeness to the coronavirus patients and the health workers who treat them, as well as to the civil authorities and all those who are working to assist the patients and stop the infection,” Pope Francis said on 26 February.

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Pope-Francis_260220_CNS_850 Pope Francis greets people, including a woman wearing a mask as protection against the coronavirus, during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on 26 February, 2020. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring Coronavirus-Vatican_260220_CNS_850 People wear masks as protection against the coronavirus as Pope Francis leads his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 26, 2020. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring
Simcha Fisher: How I’m teaching about confession with the Sheep Game https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/simcha-fisher-how-im-teaching-about-confession-with-the-sheep-game/ Thu, 27 Feb 2020 19:00:19 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38631 My faith formation class — mostly eight-year-olds — has watched this amazing video several times. It’s short, and shows a man rummaging around in a hole in the deep grass. He grasps something and starts to pull, and we eventually see legs, and then realise that it’s an entire, full-grown sheep who’s somehow got himself […]

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My faith formation class — mostly eight-year-olds — has watched this amazing video several times. It’s short, and shows a man rummaging around in a hole in the deep grass. He grasps something and starts to pull, and we eventually see legs, and then realise that it’s an entire, full-grown sheep who’s somehow got himself buried. The man pulls steadily and the sheep emerges, very much like in a birth. The sheep shakes himself, looking confused and relieved, and gallops away while the men chuckle.

Our class is getting closer to the big day: Their first confession. They won’t receive their First Communion until next year, so I had the task of teaching them to understand sin and repentance and forgiveness, without overwhelming them with guilt and self-accusation. They’re learning what their sacramental relationship is with God, and I would hate to frame it as some kind of adversarial trial. That’s something I’m still unlearning, myself.

So I’ve been trying to lay a lot of the emotional framework for confession, before we really dig into the logistical part of it. We talk a lot about how the whole story of salvation is how much God wants to be with us, and how he keeps coming up with plans to save us from all the problems we get ourselves into. I want very much to teach confession as a place we want to go when we need help, rather than a place we have to go when we’re in disgrace.

One class, I showed them the sheep video without any introduction. We watched it twice, and I asked them to talk about what the sheep was like. They decided he was pretty silly, and confused, and that he needed help, and he was probably scared, and it was dark and awful in the hole, and he wouldn’t be able to get out by himself. And maybe it wasn’t the first time he had fallen down in there, either, and he might even do it again.

Then we talked about the man who saved him. They thought he was Spanish, first of all. Ha! Okay, what else? He was strong, and he cared about the sheep, and he knew what to do, and he wasn’t going to give up until he got the sheep out. And he felt sorry for the sheep (“Pobrecito!” meaning “poor little thing” he says at one point), and he liked the sheep, and didn’t want it to get hurt. And he liked seeing it come out of the hole (“El milgro de la vida!”, ‘the miracle of life’ one of the men exclaims.) It was his job to take care of that sheep. That was why he was there.

Then I told them we are like the sheep, and Jesus is like the man who pulls the sheep out. This was a little confusing for them at first, but kids this age are quite capable of understanding analogies with some help.

We talked about different kinds of things we can do that make us fall into a hole. Calling someone a mean name. Not doing what our moms tell us to do. STABBING SOMEONE. (They liked that one.) We wrote these and other sins down on little paper sheep and then I had them all crowd together on one side of the room, each clutching a sheep. I shouted, “I am the good shepherd! Come on, sheep, follow me and I’ll take care of you!”

One by one, they came toward me. But there was one spot on the floor that was designated as a hole. When they reached that spot, they fell down. We looked at their sheep together and read the sin. I asked, “Are you sorry you killed someone [or whatever the sin was]?” They said they were sorry, and I said, “I forgive you! Come out of the hole!” and I hoisted them up and sent them on their way.

They. Loved. It. It was fun and exciting and memorable, and it captured something of the nervousness and anticipation of waiting in the confession line, and the relief and joy of coming out on the other side.

I did have one concerned parent carefully inquire why his child came home with a crumpled paper sheep that said “KILLING” on it.

Next week, we watched the video again and played the game again, but this time, when they fell into the hole, I had them say, “Bless me, father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession” before they “confessed” their “sins.” In the next few weeks, we’ll add in more and more elements of the actual form of confession. My hope is that, by the time we hit the big day, they’ll be good and familiar with what they’re supposed to do, but they’ll also associate it with feelings of rescue and relief — something they actually want to do, something that is there to help them, because this is why Jesus came: To help us out of the hole.

Will it work? I have no idea. It’s possible I’m scarring these kids for life. It’s possible we’re having TOO much fun, and they’ll go into the real confessional and start hopping around and baaing like sheep, and the DRE will conveniently forget to ask me to teach again next year.

I did have one concerned parent carefully inquire why his child came home with a crumpled paper sheep that said “KILLING” on it.

But you know, these kids keep coming back. They keep asking questions. They really like being pulled out of a hole. And so do I.  Baaa!

Related article:

Confession must never be violated, says Vatican
Simcha Fisher: 17 ways to make confession easier for your kids

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Sisters of Charity Foundation and Salvation Army alliance against modern slavery https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/sisters-of-charity-and-salvation-army-alliance-against-modern-slavery/ Thu, 27 Feb 2020 03:16:53 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38780 The Sisters of Charity, in collaboration with the Salvation Army, have launched a program aimed at sheltering victims of human trafficking.

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Sister Margaret Beirne rsc with Governor-General the Hon David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and his wife Linda Hurley as well as Sisters of Charity Foundation Chairman Richard Haddock AO PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

The Sisters of Charity Foundation, in collaboration with The Salvation Army, have launched a program  providing transitional housing for survivors of modern slavery in Australia on Thursday 20 February at the Sisters of Charity Heritage Centre, Potts Point. The move comes in league with the Anti-Slavery measurements being implemented within the Sydney Archdiocese.

Sr Margaret Beirne rsc of the Sisters of Charity spoke with eloquence and pride over the launch of the alliance between The Salvation Army and the Sisters of Charity Foundation in helping victims of human trafficking in Sydney find shelter and stability PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Sr Margaret Beirne rsc, Congregational Councillor of the Sisters of Charity, spoke at the opening. “Today’s launch of this anti-slavery program begins a joint ecumenical venture of our Christian traditions in continuation of the work of Mother Mary Aikenhead. The Salvation Army’s predilection for the poor fits well with the Sisters of Charity,” she said.

The Memorandum of Understanding for the program between the Salvation Army and the Sisters of Charity Foundation was signed in November 2019.

Salvation Army Commissioner Robert Donaldson: “The Salvation Army and the Sisters of Charity believe every person is made in the image of God and is worthy of love and respect” PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Commissioner Donaldson spoke on behalf of The Salvation Army. “Partnerships are always built on fundamental beliefs. The Salvation Army and the Sisters of Charity believe every person is made in the image of God and is worthy of love and respect,” he said.

His Excellency, the Governor-General of Australia the Hon David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), patron of the Sisters of Charity Foundation, was in attendance to open the program.

Other guests included Salvation Army Australia Commissioners Robert and Janine Donaldson, interim anti-slavery commissioner for the NSW Government Professor Jennifer Burn and John McCarthy QC of the Sydney Catholic Archdiocese Anti-Slavery Taskforce.

Governor-General David Hurley AC, DSC, FTSE with the Sisters of Charity PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Governor Hurley thanked both organisations for their work. “It’s a delight to see various areas [the Sisters of Charity Foundation] do work from scholarships to programmes like this to asylum seekers and the full range of issues we need to address as a society…your fingerprints are there. Thank you.”

The scourge of modern slavery affects approximately 30 million people worldwide according to statistics from the UN. According to similar estimates, there are approximately 15,000 individuals in Australia who fall into the category of modern slavery with sweatshop work, forced marriages and indentured employment.

Related Stories:

NSW leads the way in passing first Australian anti-slavery bill

Sydney Archdiocese’s goal to fight modern slavery

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Lent a time for love, not ‘useless sermons’ https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/lent-a-time-for-love-not-useless-sermons/ Thu, 27 Feb 2020 03:14:42 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38782 We are just "dust in the universe" but "destined for eternal life" said Pope.

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Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 26, 2020. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

Ashes not only symbolise humanity’s frail mortality but are also a reminder of God’s infinite love of people, whom he created from dust, Pope Francis said.

While men and women are just “dust in the universe” compared to the galaxies and space, “we are thus a dust that is precious, destined for eternal life” with God, the pope said on 26 February, celebrating Mass and distributing ashes at the beginning of Lent.

“For Lent is not a time for useless sermons, but for recognising that our lowly ashes are loved by God,” he said.

“It is a time of grace, a time for letting God gaze upon us with love and in this way change our lives. We were put in this world to go from ashes to life.”

After a brief prayer at the Benedictine’s Monastery of St Anselm, Pope Francis walked in the traditional Ash Wednesday procession to the nearby Dominican-run Basilica of Santa Sabina, on Rome’s Aventine Hill, for the Mass.

 “For Lent is not a time for useless sermons, but for recognising that our lowly ashes are loved by God.”

The pope received ashes on his head from 95-year-old Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular cardinal of the basilica, and distributed ashes to the cardinals present, as well as to Benedictines from St Anselm, Dominicans from Santa Sabina and some laypeople.

In his homily, the pope said that the placing of ashes on the forehead is a reminder that although humanity is merely dust in the earth, it can also become something wondrous “if we allow ourselves to be shaped by the hands of God”.

“More often than not, though, especially at times of difficulty and loneliness, we only see our dust. But the Lord encourages us: In his eyes, our littleness is of infinite value. So, let us take heart: We were born to be loved; we were born to be children of God,” he said.

Pope Francis places ashes on the head of a cardinal during Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome Feb. 26, 2019. PHOTO: CNS/Remo Casilli, Reuters

Christians are called to avoid “the fleeting realities of this world,” which ultimately turn to dust, and instead embrace the life that God wishes to give them, he said.

If a person lives to earn money or seek pleasure, prestige or promotions, he or she is “simply staring at dust,” the pope said.

“That is not why we have been put in this world,” he said. “We are worth so much more. We live for so much more, for we are meant to make God’s dream a reality and to love.”

Ashes are also a reminder of the “dust of death” brought on by war and of “lives reduced to ashes,” including the lives of those who are unwelcomed, the poor and “the abandoned elderly.”

“We continue to destroy ourselves, to return to ashes and dust,” the pope said. “Even in the Church, the house of God, we have let so much dust collect, the dust of worldliness.”

“Even in the Church, the house of God, we have let so much dust collect, the dust of worldliness.”

The fire of God’s love, he added, is often extinguished by the “ashes of hypocrisy,” especially in Christians who do acts of charity, prayer or fasting “only to be recognised, to look good, to satisfy our ego”.

“How often do we profess to be Christians, yet in our hearts readily yield to passions that enslave us. How often do we preach one thing and practice another. How many times do we make ourselves look good on the outside while nursing grudges within.

“How much duplicity do we have in our hearts. All this is dust that besmirches, ashes that extinguish the fire of love,” the pope said.

Lent, he said, “is a time of healing” and through contemplating the cross and the sacrament of penance, Christians can encounter God’s forgiving love, which “consumes the ashes of our sin”.

“The embrace of the Father in confession renews us from inside and purifies our heart,” Pope Francis said. “Let us allow ourselves to be loved, so that we can give love in return.

“Let us allow ourselves to stand up and walk toward Easter. Then we will experience the joy of discovering how God raises us up from our ashes.”

Related article:

Pope’s Lent message focus on conversion, Satan’s lies

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Pope-Ash-Wednesday_260220_CNS_850 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome Feb. 26, 2020. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring 20200226T1514-34470-CNS-POPE-ASH-WEDNESDAY Pope Francis places ashes on the head of a cardinal during Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome Feb. 26, 2019. PHOTO: CNS/Remo Casilli, Reuters
Woman with Down syndrome fights abortion laws https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/woman-with-down-syndrome-fights-abortion-laws/ Wed, 26 Feb 2020 22:31:25 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38758 A 24-year-old British woman with Down syndrome has launched a lawsuit against the UK government, seeking to change British laws that allow for babies with Down syndrome to be aborted up until birth. “At the moment in the UK, babies can be aborted right up to birth if they are considered to be “seriously handicapped.” They […]

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Heidi Crowter with other demonstrators against the UK abortion laws. PHOTO: Don’t Screen Me Out

A 24-year-old British woman with Down syndrome has launched a lawsuit against the UK government, seeking to change British laws that allow for babies with Down syndrome to be aborted up until birth.

“At the moment in the UK, babies can be aborted right up to birth if they are considered to be “seriously handicapped.” They include me in that definition of being seriously handicapped – just because I have an extra chromosome,” Heidi Crowter told journalists this week.

“What it says to me is that my life just isn’t as valuable as others, and I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s downright discrimination.”

Crowter, along with Cheryl Bilsborrow, the mother of a two-year-old with Down syndrome, have sent a letter to the British secretary of state and are hoping to raise the £20,000 necessary to litigate the case.

Bilsborrow said she was strongly encouraged to have an abortion after doctors performed the screening test on her unborn child.

“The nurse reminded me I could have a termination right up to 40 weeks if the baby had Down’s,” Bilsborrow told the Catholic Herald. “I just said to her: ‘I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that,’ but it did make me feel very anxious.”

“What it says to me is that my life just isn’t as valuable as others, and I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s downright discrimination.”

Abortions are legal in the UK for any reason up until 24 weeks, and most of the country’s 200,000 or so annual abortions take place before 13 weeks.

Abortions after 24 weeks are legal only if a woman’s life is in danger, there is a foetal abnormality classified as “severe”, or the woman is at risk of grave physical and mental injury, the BBC reports.

If the baby has a disability, including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot, abortion is legal up to birth. About nine in ten women have abortions after being given a diagnosis of Down syndrome, the Daily Mail reports.

Heidi Crowter. PHOTO: Don’t Screen Me Out

The “Don’t Screen Us Out” campaign in the United Kingdom has, for the past four years, been drawing awareness to and seeking to change the UK’s abortion laws, seeking to amend Abortion Act of 1967 so that abortions for non-fatal disabilities are outlawed in the third trimester, which starts around 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Lynn Murray, a spokesperson for the group, told CNA in an interview that the campaign began in response to the government’s proposal of a new screening test for Down syndrome that, according to the government, would find an additional 102 cases of Down syndrome a year.

Given the high rate of termination for babies in the UK found to have Down syndrome, the campaign formed in order to try to get the government to assess the impact that the non-invasive prenatal testing technique, called ‘cell-free DNA’ or cfDNA, would have on the Down syndrome community. The campaign attracted attention among Britons with similar concerns, she said.

The group is backing Crowter and Bilsborrow in their lawsuit against the government.

“Launching this case gets people talking about it,” she said, adding that most people don’t even realise abortion is available up until birth in the UK.

“We are keen for people with Down syndrome to advocate for themselves. And this is what Heidi has decided to do…she feels that abortion after 24 weeks suggests that the lives of people like her don’t have the same value as everyone else.”

 

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has consistently criticised countries which provide for abortion on the basis of disability, the group says. In some countries, such as Denmark and Iceland, the abortion rate for babies found to have Down syndrome is close to 100 per cent.

In the United States, there have been numerous attempts at the state level to ban abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Missouri lawmakers passed a law during 2019 that, in addition to banning all abortions after eight weeks, prohibits “selective” abortions following a medical diagnosis or disability such as Down syndrome, or on the basis of the race or sex of the baby. The law is currently blocked in the courts amid a legal challenge.

Ohio lawmakers attempted in 2017 to pass a ban on Down syndrome abortions, but a federal judge in 2019 blocked the legislation from taking effect.

Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Utah have all considered or passed similar bans.

At the federal level, the Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act has been introduced in Congress, but has not yet been debated. The proposed law would ban doctors from “knowingly perform[ing] an abortion being sought because the baby has or may have Down syndrome.”

Related article:

The remarkable works of Eileen O’Connor Catholic College

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Heidi-Crowter_down-syndrome_Dont-screen-me-out_850 Heidi Crowter with other demonstrators against the UK abortion bill. PHOTO: Don't Screen Me Out Heidi-Crowter1_down-syndrome_Dont-screen-me-out_850 Heidi Crowter. PHOTO: Don't Screen Me Out
This Catholic Life Podcast – Ep. 31: Saints and Relics https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/this-catholic-life-podcast-ep-31-saints-and-relics/ Wed, 26 Feb 2020 15:00:17 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=37048 Episode #31 – Saints and Relics Hosts: Peter Holmes & Renée Köhler-Ryan Guest: Fr. Brian Lucas Find It On iTunes – This Catholic Life Podcast Links and Resources: Catholic Mission: https://www.catholicmission.org.au/ Itinerary of the Pilgrimage of St Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents Sts Louis and Zélie Martin – Australia 2020 Subscribe: iTunes, Google Play, […]

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Episode #31 – Saints and Relics

Hosts: Peter Holmes & Renée Köhler-Ryan
Guest: Fr. Brian Lucas

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Itinerary of the Pilgrimage of St Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents Sts Louis and Zélie Martin – Australia 2020

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Catholics win Ramsay Centre Scholarships https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/catholic-students-win-ramsay-centre-scholarships/ Wed, 26 Feb 2020 04:13:32 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38714 Isabelle Carolan is one of 34 recipients looking forward to the controversial new course this year.

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Isabelle Carolan is looking forward to her time as one of the first intake of Ramsey Scholarships at Wollongong University PHOTO: Daniel Hopper

Isabelle Carolan is one of 34 scholarship recipients chosen from more than 70 applicants nationwide looking forward to studying Western civilisation this academic year. Ms Carolan, who completed her HSC last year at St Mary Star of the Sea College in Wollongong, is one recipient of a 2020 Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation Undergraduate course which she will undertake at the University of Wollongong.

The prestigious scholarship awards her and fellow applicants $30,000 each per annum throughout the five years of her course in the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation. “I’m really excited … Mum and Dad are definitely proud,” she told The Catholic Weekly this week. “My friends are quite happy for me too.”

I’m really excited … Mum and Dad are definitely proud

The University of Wollongong has established a newly formed School of Liberal Arts with an international staff coming from prestigious institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, the University of Buenos Aires, and the University of Sydney.  In addition, Isabelle will also be undertaking a Bachelor of Laws at Wollongong in a dual degree with her Bachelor of Arts. Despite being more inclined in high school studies towards the STEM field, Isabelle decided to undertake the liberal arts to broaden her knowledge. “I was generally stronger with maths and physics so it was a shock to my friends when they discovered I was going to study the Liberal Arts,” she said.

 it covers all the different areas to bring out western civilisation today

Isabelle sees the course she will commence this coming week as uniquely important. “I think that’s what marks [the Ramsay Centre] out. It encompasses a broad range of the arts subjects. In other arts degrees you are forced to major in one area but with this course you are able to get a view of all those areas woven together, and how they have influenced each other from Ancient Greece to modern times, and how this has contributed to what we have today,” she said. “I think that’s what sums up the degree- it covers all the different areas to bring out western civilisation today.”

Despite media controversy around the scholarships, she encouraged those curious to study what the course offers and the content being taught before attacking it. “A lot of people bringing up controversy haven’t read the subject outline or looked into what the course is teaching. They’re jumping to conclusions,” she said. “If you read what the course is about a lot of what the media is saying is not accurate,” she said.

“It will be good to meet all the students and I look forward to academic discussions we will have,” said Isabelle to The Catholic Weekly PHOTO: Daniel Hopper

Three universities have so far partnered with the Ramsay Centre: the University of Wollongong, the University of Queensland and, as of this week, Australian Catholic University. Preparing for classes, Isabelle has been getting to know her future classmates.

I look forward to academic discussions we will have

“Last night we had a gathering of students and there was one other girl from my school doing it and two other boys from my primary school. It was cool to see them. It will be good to meet all the students and I look forward to academic discussions we will have.”

The University of Wollongong Ramsay Scholars underwent a rigorous and comprehensive selection process that included a written application, an essay, an evaluation of their academic performance and an interview.

A spokesman for the University told The Catholic Weekly that Catholic school students were “well represented” among the scholars, alongside public and other private schools.
Most scholarship recipients have chosen to undertake the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as part of a double degree. More than half the successful applicants are female.

Related Stories:
Former PM announces Campion-Ramsay alliance
Campion College’s Philosopher Chef

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Isabelle-Carolan_RamsayScholarship_250220_808_DanielHopper Isabelle Carolan is looking forward to her time as one of the first intake of Ramsey Scholarships at Wollongong University PHOTO: Daniel Hopper Isabelle-Carolan_RamsayScholarship_250220_808_DanielHopper
Pope’s Lent message focus on conversion, Satan’s lies https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/popes-lent-message-focus-on-conversion-satans-lies/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 22:42:12 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38699 By Hannah Brockhaus There is an urgent need for personal conversion, without which the temptations of Satan, and the presence of evil, create a “hell here on earth,” Pope Francis said Monday in his 2020 Lenten message. “Christian joy flows from listening to, and accepting, the Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus,” he […]

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Pope Francis places ashes on the head of a cardinal during Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome March 6, 2019. PHOTO: CNS/Yara Nardi, Reuters

By Hannah Brockhaus

There is an urgent need for personal conversion, without which the temptations of Satan, and the presence of evil, create a “hell here on earth,” Pope Francis said Monday in his 2020 Lenten message.

“Christian joy flows from listening to, and accepting, the Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus,” he said. “Whoever believes this message rejects the lie that our life is ours to do with as we will.”

Rather, the pope said, life is born of the love of God our Father.

“If we listen instead to the tempting voice of the ‘father of lies,’ we risk sinking into the abyss of absurdity, and experiencing hell here on earth, as all too many tragic events in the personal and collective human experience sadly bear witness,” he stated.

Pope Francis’ Lenten message was published 24 February. It was signed 7 October, 2019, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Lent is a precious time for Catholics and should not be wasted or taken for granted, said Pope Francis.

With the season of Lent, the Lord gives Catholics again a time of preparation for Jesus’ death and resurrection, “the cornerstone of our personal and communal Christian life,” he said, urging Catholics to not take this time of conversion for granted.

“This new opportunity ought to awaken in us a sense of gratitude and stir us from our sloth,” he argued. “Despite the sometimes tragic presence of evil in our lives, and in the life of the Church and the world, this opportunity to change our course expresses God’s unwavering will not to interrupt his dialogue of salvation with us.”

In his message for Lent 2020, which will begin 26 February, Francis spoke about the “urgency of conversion,” and quoted his 2019 apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit.

“Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified, let yourself be saved over and over again.

And when you go to confess your sins, believe firmly in his mercy which frees you of your guilt.

“Contemplate his blood poured out with such great love, and let yourself be cleansed by it. In this way, you can be reborn ever anew.”

During Lent, a penitential period preceding the Church’s celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, Catholics are called to a renewed practice of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer.

Pope Francis recalled that prayer is “more than a duty,” but that it is “an expression of our need to respond to God’s love which always precedes and sustains us.”

Christians pray with the knowledge they are unworthy, but still loved by God, he said.

Francis also spoke about the paschal mystery and putting it at the centre of one’s life, which he said means to have compassion for Christ crucified as represented in “the many innocent victims of wars, in attacks on life, from that of the unborn to that of the elderly, and various forms of violence.”

Christ’s wounds are also represented in “environmental disasters, the unequal distribution of the earth’s goods, human trafficking in all its forms, and the unbridled thirst for profit, which is a form of idolatry,” he stated.

About almsgiving, the pope said sharing one’s worldly goods helps to make the world a better place.

“Charitable giving makes us more human, whereas hoarding risks making us less human, imprisoned by our own selfishness,” he said.

Francis said apart from giving alms, Christians must also consider the structure of economic life, which is why he has convened in March a meeting with young men and women from around the world to bring about “a more just and inclusive economy.”

‘The Economy of Francesco,’ which will be attended by around 2,000 economists and entrepreneurs under the age of 35, will be held in Assisi March 26-28.

Pope Francis pointed to the crucified Jesus, who was sinless yet took on “the weight of our sins.”

“May we not let this time of grace pass in vain, in the foolish illusion that we can control the times and means of our conversion to him,” he urged.

“I ask Mary Most Holy to pray that our Lenten celebration will open our hearts to hear God’s call to be reconciled to himself, to fix our gaze on the paschal mystery, and to be converted to an open and sincere dialogue with him.”

Article originally published at Catholic News Agency.

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Pope-Lent_130220_CNS_850 Pope Francis places ashes on the head of a cardinal during Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome March 6, 2019. PHOTO: CNS/Yara Nardi, Reuters shutterstock_360452588 lent purple crown thorns jesus
UNDA vice chancellor inaugurated https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/unda-vice-chancellor-inaugurated/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 19:00:47 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=38665 Professor Francis Campbell has been sworn in as the fourth vice chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia. Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP presided over the inauguration Mass and ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on 21 February. In attendance were civic and educational leaders including the Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley, and former […]

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Professor Francis Campbell takes an oath of office at the ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. PHOTO: Gavin Blue, UNDA

Professor Francis Campbell has been sworn in as the fourth vice chancellor of the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP presided over the inauguration Mass and ceremony at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on 21 February.

In attendance were civic and educational leaders including the Governor of NSW Margaret Beazley, and former governor Dame Marie Bashir.

In his homily Archbishop said that Professor Campbell, the former vice chancellor of St Mary’s University in London, comes highly recommended by people he trusts in the ecclesiastical and academic scenes in Britain.

“His experience of academic life and leadership will be invaluable as he assumes his new task,” he said.

Archbishop Fisher said a university needs a vice chancellor as a body needs a soul.
“[It] might survive for a time in a somewhat vegetative state; but without this unifying and guiding principle, its identity will fade, its purposes be confused, its members disintegrate,” he said.

Professor Campbell’s inauguration ceremony was preceded by a smoking ceremony on the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral. PHOTO: Gavin Blue, UNDA

“So we are very pleased to have a vice chancellor to lead us forward anew.”

Following the Mass Professor Campbell was brought forward to accept his charge as the fourth vice chancellor of Notre Dame, make a profession of faith and an oath of fidelity.
He also received the vice chancellor’s regalia and official university seal.

UNDA student Matthew Frijo presented Professor Campbell with a mosaic of St Joseph, a gift handmade by students from the Sydney campus to represent the prayers and support of the university community.

At a reception at the Art Gallery of NSW following the ceremony UNDA chancellor Chris Ellison praised the new vice chancellor’s “high intellect, his commitment to faith, his pastoral care; those qualities that he’s exhibited through times of crisis and his approach to very difficult situations.

“All of those will stand him in great stead at Notre Dame”.

Professor Campbell said his new role was a “privilege and an honour” and that the vision to establish Notre Dame had “transformed lives”.

“We take on these roles because of the legacy of those who went before, the hard work of people who are still at the institution and the people who had the vision to found it,” he said.

“In that chain of office and the passing on of the robes by [former vice chancellor] Peter [Tannock], you are really conscious that it’s on the shoulders of giants that you take on this role and it leaves you very humbled.”

Professor Campbell plans to divide his time between the Perth and Sydney campuses.

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New VC commences at Notre Dame

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Francis-Campbell-1 Professor Francis Campbell takes an oath of office at the ceremony at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney. PHOTO: Gavin Blue, UNDA smoking-ceremony Professor Campbell's inauguration ceremony was preceded by a smoking ceremony on the steps of St Mary's Cathedral. PHOTO: Gavin Blue, UNDA