The Catholic Weekly https://www.catholicweekly.com.au The Church. All of it. Sun, 21 Jul 2019 08:54:13 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Winning passion to serve youth https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/winning-passion-to-serve-youth/ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 03:47:24 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25325 Scholarship helps Calle on her way to Rome with desire to help Indigenous youth back home.

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ACU Social Work student and scholarship winner Calle Nicholls. PHOTO: ACU

It’s a long way from her hometown in the central NSW town of Blayney to Rome, but for Calle Nicholls it’s just the start of her journey to help indigenous youth who have no place to go.

The second year Bachelor of Social Work student at ACU’s Canberra campus recently won the 2019 Francis Xavier Conaci Scholarship which will allow her to study at the university’s Rome campus.

A proud woman of the Wiradjuri tribe, Calle has been “passionate” about social work since she was 15 and hopes to ultimately work in the area of youth incarceration, particularly indigenous youth in Western Australia or the Northern Territory.

“I was extremely grateful and excited when I found out I had been awarded this particular scholarship,” said Ms Nicholls.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity.”

“With only one student being selected, I feel very proud to be this particular person and look forward to representing my culture.”

Director of the First Peoples and Equity Pathways Directorate at ACU, Jane Ceolin, said the university was pleased to provide this wonderful opportunity for the third scholarship recipient.

“Calle is an inspiration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and a role model for her home community,” Ms Ceolin said.

Australia’s Indigenous connection to Rome

The Francis Xavier Conaci Scholarship enables an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student to undertake study at the ACU Rome Campus as part of their core curriculum requirements.

Bishop Christopher A. Saunders of Broome, Australia, left, gestures as he prays with other Australian bishops at the tomb of Francis Xavier Conaci at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Photo: CNS photo/courtesy Gavin Abraham, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Bishop Christopher A. Saunders of Broome, Australia, left, gestures as he prays with other Australian bishops at the tomb of Francis Xavier Conaci at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Photo: CNS photo/courtesy Gavin Abraham, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

It was established in recognition of an Aboriginal student, Francis Xavier Conaci, who travelled to Rome in 1849 from New Norcia in Western Australia to study in a Benedictine monastery.

Conaci died in Rome and is understood to be buried in a grave in the Basilica of Sts Paul’s Outside the Walls which the Australian bishops visited last month during their Ad Limina visit.

“Being in Rome to represent my culture means I have the ability to have a voice, I can advocate for the rights of my people, expose the truth and promote change,” said Ms Nicholls.

“This is a very important time for Indigenous people as it recognises the history, hardship and disadvantage we face on a day to day basis.”

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Calle-Nicholls—2019-Francis-Xavier-Conaci-Scholarship-recipient850 Calle Nicholls. PHOTO: ACU CNS-Saunders-1-010719 Bishop Christopher A. Saunders of Broome, Australia, left, gestures as he prays with other Australian bishops at the tomb of Francis Xavier Conaci at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Photo: CNS photo/courtesy Gavin Abraham, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
240 years of priestly service, with a bit of time for golf https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/240-years-of-priestly-service-with-a-bit-of-time-for-golf/ Fri, 19 Jul 2019 02:10:29 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25308 Two of Sydney’s priests say the loyalty and deep prayer life of the lay faithful has sustained them over a combined 120 years of service. That, and making time for golf. Father Kevin O’Grady and Father Paul Foley marked their 60th anniversaries of ordination on 18 July with Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. They were […]

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Priests
Diamond jubilarians Father Paul Foley and Father Kevin O’Grady greet each other after Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral to mark their anniversaries on 18 July. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

Two of Sydney’s priests say the loyalty and deep prayer life of the lay faithful has sustained them over a combined 120 years of service. That, and making time for golf.

Father Kevin O’Grady and Father Paul Foley marked their 60th anniversaries of ordination on 18 July with Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral. They were joined by former classmate Father Cletus Tuderti osb-sylv who travelled all the way from his Benedictine monastery in Bassano Romano, north of Rome, to celebrate the tremendous milestone.

Ill health unfortunately kept Father William Alliprandi of Broken Bay away, who was originally ordained for the Sydney archdiocese before the creation of the diocese to its north in 1986.

Diamond Jubilarians at their anniversary Mass at St Mary's Cathedral
Diamond Jubilarians Fathers Paul Foley, Cletus Tuderti osb-sylv and Kevin O’Grady celebrate their anniversary Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral where they were ordained on 18 July 1959. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

The four pre-Vatican Council priests, the last left of their class of 28, were taught to pray the liturgy in Latin, have served under eight popes and five archbishops, and dedicated a remarkable 240 years of service to the Church in Australia and overseas.

But despite busy lives dedicated to God and others, there has always been time for a few rounds at St Michael’s golf club at Little Bay.

Playing each week was a much-needed break from parish life and responsibilities, said Father Paul, who himself still plays three times a week. “We would have 50-odd priests playing golf at St Michael’s every Monday, now it’s down to five or six,” he said.

Father Kevin, who has a nephew studying for the priesthood, said his ordination day on 18 July 1959 was the “happiest day of my life”.

“I never had any big crises of indecision about what I should be doing or where I should be doing it, I left that to the superiors,” he said. The commitment of lay people has encouraged him most in his priesthood.

“Their prayer quality is something that never ceases to amaze me.”

“I now live on the central coast and there are 50 to 60 people at daily Mass.”

Father Paul Foley said that what he enjoyed most over the last six decades and serving in almost 20 parishes was “being involved with people, marrying them, baptising their children, and sharing with them in life’s joys and sorrows”. “People wish me congratulations and say ‘well done’ but I say thanks to God who has given me these 60 years,” he said.

Fathers Paul Foley (left) and Kevin O’Grady. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok

Both priests said they would encourage young men to consider the priesthood and shared some honest advice. “Don’t touch the priesthood unless you think you are really called for it,” cautioned Father Kevin.

“And if you think you’re called, then put up with what you’ve got to go through.”

Father Paul said he understood the ‘fear of missing out’ as a barrier for exploring priestly life. “But what you miss out on in marriage you pick up on the roundabout in the priesthood,” he said.

Bravery required for priestly life today

“It’s a bit hard for them today with the circumstances in the Church, they have to be a pretty brave lot, but a lot of the saints didn’t have it very easy. My favourite is St Joan of Arc. She followed the voices that told her what to do and somehow or other that’s what we’ve got to do.

“God isn’t going to appear and say, ‘I want you to become a priest’ but it percolates through and becomes part of what you want to do”.

Fr Cletus joined the class at St Patrick’s seminary in Manly in 1957. After ordination he served at St Gertrude’s Parish in Smithfield for three years.

He returned to Italy in 1966 and has been prior for many years until recently at the Benedictine monastery of St Vincent’s in Bassano Romano. “Australia has a soft spot in my heart,” he said.

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Jubilarians_St-Marys-Cathedral_180719_AFok_850 Diamond jubilarians Father Paul Foley and Father Kevin O'Grady greet each other after Mass at St Mary's Cathedral to mark their anniversaries on 18 July. PHOTO: Alphonsus Fok Jubilarians-Mass_St-Marys-Cathedral_180719_AFok_850 Jubilarians-Mass_Cathedral-house_180719_AFok_850
Six Sydney priests offer heartfelt advice to ordinands https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/six-sydney-priests-offer-heartfelt-advice-to-ordinands/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 05:30:32 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25236 In two week’s time, on Saturday 3 August, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP will ordain seven young men to the priesthood at St Mary’s Cathedral at 10.30am. We asked seven Sydney priests for their best advice to their soon-to-be brother priests. Fr Daniele Russo, Holy Family Parish, Menai Our first work is prayer. There is so […]

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Pope Francis ordains one of 16 new priests in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in April 2018. Photo: CNS/Tony Gentile, Reuters
Pope Francis ordains one of 16 new priests in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in April 2018.
Photo: CNS/Tony Gentile, Reuters

In two week’s time, on Saturday 3 August, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP will ordain seven young men to the priesthood at St Mary’s Cathedral at 10.30am.

We asked seven Sydney priests for their best advice to their soon-to-be brother priests.

Fr Daniele Russo, Holy Family Parish, Menai

Our first work is prayer. There is so much that can be done in the average day of a priest. Work, work, and more work.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that a priest is regularly tempted to delay, or forgo, prayer for the sake of work.

However pressing our next appointment, or important our Sunday homily, we can never forget that our first work is prayer.

Our apostolate receives its fervour from the intimate relationship we share with Our Lord in prayer and our work will only ever be as fruitful as the quality of that relationship.

Fr Daniele Russo, Holy Family Parish, Menai
Fr Daniele Russo, Holy Family Parish, Menai

Behind every bad idea is almost always a good person. To choose to become a priest these days is radically counter-cultural.

As much as a vocation is a “yes” to God, it is increasingly also a “no” to the world and all its bad ideas. A Catholic priest must no doubt say “no” to secularism, the culture of death, moral relativism, and a seemingly endless list of the bad ideas that have worked their way into our culture and our parishes.

Often the origin of a bad idea is simply ignorance, a poor formation, or plain old human frailty. The great majority of people are genuinely interested in what is true, good, and beautiful.

Speak to the “good” in a person, not the “bad” of their ideas. Preach the Gospel constantly, and if necessary use words.

This spiritual aphorism, famously attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, remains as true today as in the 13th Century.

Preaching and teaching the propositional content of our faith is the necessary precursor to a loving relationship with God.

Fr Michael Whelan SM, St Pat’s Church Hill

Fr Michael Whelan SM, St Pat’s Church Hill
Fr Michael Whelan SM, St Pat’s Church Hill

“Who are you? One made in the image and likeness of the infinitely self-emptying God: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). So, “let this mind be in you … he emptied himself” (Philippians 2:7).

Who are you? Your true life is in Him: “When you were baptised into Christ Jesus, you were baptised into his death” (Romans 6:3).

Who are you? One called to be a place where Jesus Christ becomes real for people.
Diakonos means servant. You have the immense privilege of being one who is called to be a servant of God’s people.

In this way, your story – your very human story, with all its peculiar limits, possibilities and special needs, its memories and expectations, its doubts and anxieties – becomes a special instance of the Incarnation. May God bless you!”

Fr Darryl Mackie, Mission Integration Manager, St Vincent’s Private Hospital

My fellow brothers in Christ, soon you will be ordained into the priesthood. It is one of God’s greatest gifts to the Church this ministry that is entrusted to you.

This year marks my 24th year of ordination. Remembering those days prior to my ordination, it was the gift of a conversation I had with an elderly priest.

There were three things that he said that have stood out for me….I now pass them on to you.

Visit the sick. I was advised to always clear a few days from my diary each month, to ensure that I take time to visit the sick – in their homes, in the hospital, in aged care. If we forget this ministry we forget who we are.

Fr Darryl Mackie, Mission Integration Manager, St Vincent’s Private Hospital
Fr Darryl Mackie, Mission Integration Manager, St Vincent’s Private Hospital

As Pope Francis constantly reminds us that we must have the smell of the sheep on us…this ministry I have come to love as a hospital chaplain knowing that our presence makes such a difference and an uplifting presence in the lives of so many patients, families and staff.

Prayer must be always at the centre of your life. Prayer around your Divine Office, with sick people by their bedside and the centre of day, Mass.

Always remembering that your ministry is prayer in action. Your ministry derives from the altar. Take your people’s prayers and concerns to the altar and minster to them from the altar.

Prayer will sustain you when times are sometimes tough and sometimes you will need to say yes to your vocation. Always remember there are many praying for us. We do not minister alone!

Be yourself. From when God created you he has loved you! When you were brought into the Church to be Baptised you began your path.

As you come to know Jesus through prayer, through the Church and through His people you will come to know more deeply the ministry to which we are called.

In my prayers and Masses I offer these words and be the model of Jesus the Carpenter of Nazareth to our world.

Fr Josh Miechels, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Fairfield

Pray every day or you’re stuffed. Obviously this is true for all Christians.

Priests, given the challenges we face, our own weakness, and the way we are hated by Satan, even more so.

Fr Josh Miechels, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Fairfield
Fr Josh Miechels, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Fairfield

Have planned in your diary how, when and for how long you will spend at least half an hour with the Lord, no matter what happens in the day. Build relationships with everyone. Every human being aches for the love of God.

If a priest is a channel of anything, it is Divine love. Never underestimate the simple fact of your love for everyone you meet – it simplifies so many things.

Deliberately ‘waste’ (spend) time with families, school students and staff. The Gospel will almost naturally be proclaimed to them in doing so.

Spend time with brother priests. A weekly confessor and monthly spiritual director who you are an open book to is invaluable and will do a lot to prevent you going off the rails. And free time with priests, especially a few you gel well with, is an invaluable support through the dry and challenging times.

Very Rev Dr Gerald Gleeson, Vicar General, Sydney Archdiocese

Very Rev Dr Gerald Gleeson, Vicar General, Sydney Archdiocese
Very Rev Dr Gerald Gleeson, Vicar General, Sydney Archdiocese

“Be open to whatever your Archbishop ask you to do. Often you will find that an appointment which at first seems unattractive, becomes a very rich experience of grace and ministry.

Secondly, try to be a unifying presence in the parish. The motto of the old seminary at Manly was “omnia omnibus” – be like St Paul, “all things to all people” (sometimes translated as all things to all buses).

It is a ridiculous ideal, really, but it does remind us that as diocesan priests we are to be like the bishop we represent, that is, pastors who unify the disparate elements in our community.

Finally, I have always liked von Balthasar’s remark, that a priest should be as ordinary and nourishing as a good loaf of bread.”

Fr Don Richardson STB MA, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral

Fr Don Richardson STB MA, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral
Fr Don Richardson STB MA, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral

“I’ve had the privilege recently of helping prepare these seven men to celebrate the Mass, so they’ve already had my advice on that aspect of priestly ministry.

Beyond the appropriate celebration of the liturgy, I would also advise the new priests: Love the Church as it is, not only as you’d like it to be; love the people whom you serve as they are, not only as you’d like them to be. Also as a “steward” in God’s household, be sure to bring out treasures both old and new.

That means being in touch with the history of the whole Church and the history of the people where you are, as well as keeping an eye on developments in the world-wide Church.

Remember you can learn a lot from the older priests, even if they’re a bit ‘flaky’ on this or that. Finally, try to remember that it’s all about Christ. Renew your relationship with him every morning at prayer.”

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rodrigues-priestadvice-210719 Pope Francis ordains one of 16 new priests in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in April 2018. Photo: CNS/Tony Gentile, Reuters rodrigues-priestadvice-2-210719 Fr Daniele Russo, Holy Family Parish, Menai rodrigues-priestadvice-3-210719 Fr Michael Whelan SM, St Pat’s Church Hill rodrigues-priestadvice-1-210719 Fr Darryl Mackie, Mission Integration Manager, St Vincent’s Private Hospital rodrigues-priestadvice-5-210719 Fr Josh Miechels, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Fairfield rodrigues-priestadvice-4-210719 Very Rev Dr Gerald Gleeson, Vicar General, Sydney Archdiocese rodrigues-priestadvice-6-210719 Fr Don Richardson STB MA, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral
Don’t lose heart when the Church fails us https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/dont-lose-heart-when-the-church-fails-us/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 05:19:49 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25297 While the Church has never been free of conflict and argument, a major problem of the modern era originates in what might loosely be termed a division which, in theological shorthand, is referred to as the fault line which runs between the hermeneutic of continuity, on the one hand, and a hermeneutic or mentality of […]

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French Bishop Jacques Gaillot, centre, seen in this 2013 photo. Bishop Gaillot was removed as Bishop of the French Diocese of Evreux in 1995 by Pope John Paul II for several reasons, including his identification of the Catholic faith with particular political causes as well as his persistent heterodox public statements and actions, some of which contradicted or undermined Catholic faith and teaching. When official Catholic agencies act in such a way, the baptised can feel betrayed and disempowered from the faith to which they are entitled, and as if nothing in the Church stands firm. Photo: CNS, Benoit Tessier, Reuters

While the Church has never been free of conflict and argument, a major problem of the modern era originates in what might loosely be termed a division which, in theological shorthand, is referred to as the fault line which runs between the hermeneutic of continuity, on the one hand, and a hermeneutic or mentality of discontinuity, on the other.

Continuity

The hermeneutic of continuity is an outlook which sees the history of the Church from Christ up until now as an organic and constantly developing unity which takes into account the person and teachings of Christ, Scripture, two millennia of Catholic faith and practice and the defined body of teaching called the magisterium. It is capable of factoring the sinfulness of humanity into the big picture of salvation history.

It accepts as a matter of faith that some things can’t change, no matter what the polls say – for example, belief in Christ’s divinity. Such things are, in effect, the constellations in the night sky by which the ordinary Catholic man or woman can safely navigate because they do not change position.

Discontinuity

The hermeneutic of discontinuity, conversely, is more a mentality that tends to regard much of the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council or the 20th Century as somehow deficient and which seeks to obscure, change or reverse some or much Church teaching, not excluding the dogmatically defined magisterium, usually in matters to do with sexual morality, the sanctity of human life and gender – but also extending to issues such as ecclesiology and liturgy.

It usually seeks to do so in accord with moral relativism and the values predominantly to be found in popular culture. It often confuses the individual sinfulness or failings of members of the Church throughout history with the actual faith of the Church. It certainly confuses divine truth with cultural relativism.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is seen during a Midnight Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 25 December 2014. Governor Cuomo, who identifies as a Catholic, was urged by numerous bishops, clergy and laity to stop a bill in the state Legislature to expand state law on abortion. On 22 January 2019, the anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe decision legalising abortion nationwide, the Legislature passed the Reproductive Health Act and Cuomo, a Catholic, signed it into law. The law is among the most extreme ever passed, basically allowing infanticide. Photo: CNS, Carlo Allegri, Reuters

The difference between the two

One mentality is informed by two millennia of constant belief and practice, often heroically witnessed to by martyrdom, the other by the mass media and the fashionable currents of our time. This is why occasionally some Church events in our time can effectively be taken over by a loose coalition of those with agendas and those who just don’t know any better as platforms to trumpet their own versions of history, ecclesiology and morality.

A speaker, for example, can get up at a conference organised by a Catholic agency, and effectively claim or imply in the name of progress that two millennia of Church practice and teaching were all just an historical mistake (say, in the matter of spousal love) and if only we look to popular culture we’ll know how to correct Jesus and the Gospels because they were too culturally conditioned and bound by their times.

Rogue Catholics and Catholic forces

The trouble is that when official Catholic agencies cave in to, or are dominated by, the hermeneutic of discontinuity, by the mentality (or sheer ignorance) determined to do away with the past on the ground that it is intrinsically deficient, the harm is far worse than the pontifications of the rogue Catholic politician or actor. The faithful can be tempted to wonder if nothing in the Church will hold firm at all.

What to do?

When such moments come, however, we cannot lose heart. We may be frustrated or angry – or both. But to do nothing is certainly not an option. So what is to be done? The first and most important thing is to pray. Nothing good will or can happen if we rely on our own will rather than the baptismal power of prayer. Prayer, after all, gives us the ability to draw on nothing less than the divine power of heaven itself. We pray because prayer is effective. It has actual effects. As we pray we draw closer to God.

The baptismal responsibility

But we can resist as well. All Catholics are entitled as a matter of justice and their baptism to prudently resist actions, policies and statements contrary to our received faith. Our resistance can be a way of gently guiding those more enamoured of their own pet theories and imagined insights back towards what we know to be real and true. In order to do this it is more prudent to act collectively. Many speaking in a unified voice are taken more seriously than lone protestors.

Finally, we can remember that what might be called rogue Catholic forces believe in merely weak gods such as the power of budgets, and crave appointment to official status and high office which they understand as power. But their pet theories have already failed the test of time because they take no account of the luminous eternal nature and power of Christ and His word. Understanding their transcience is also to trust in God.

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20130103cnsbr13266 French Bishop Jacques Gaillot, centre, seen in this 2013 photo. Bishop Gaillot was removed as Bishop of the French Diocese of Evreux in 1995 by Pope John Paul II for several reasons, inclusing his identification of the Catholic faith with aprticular political causes as well as his persistent heterodox public statements and actions, some of which contradicted or undermined Catholic faith. When official Catholic agencies act in such a way, the baptised can feel as if nothing in the Church stands firm. Photo: CNS, Benoit Tessier, Reuters 20190123T1229-23752-CNS-NY-ABORTION-BILL-SCHARFENBERGER New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is seen during a Midnight Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral on 25 December 2014. Governor Cuomo, who identifies as a Catholic, was urged by numerous bishops, clergy and lay Catholics to stop the "Death Star" as he called a bill in the state Legislature to expand state law on abortion. On 22 January 2019, the anniversary of the US Supreme Court's 1973 Roe decision legalising abortion nationwide, the Legislature passed the Reproductive Health Act and Cuomo, a Catholic, signed it into law. Photo: CNS, Carlo Allegri, Reuters
Asylum seekers lack support for years https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/asylum-seekers-lack-support/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 01:01:52 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25279 Catholic agencies welcome new report on effects of long delays for immigration status on refugees.

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Nizar al-Qassab, an Iraqi Christian refugee from Mosul, gets a kiss from his children as they prepare to depart from Beirut international airport on 8 February 2017. PHOTO: CNS photo/Mohamed Azakir, EPA

Thousands endure prolonged delays for protection status while ‘living in the shadows’

Jesuit Refugee Service Australia has welcomed the release of a comprehensive report by the Australian Human Rights Commission warning of “serious concerns” about the 30,000 asylum seekers and refugees living in the community has be

The report, Lives on Hold, released examines the so-called ‘legacy caseload’ of people seeking asylum and refugees who arrived by boat before 2014.

Due to a number of legal and policy changes since 2012, this group is treated differently from other groups of asylum seekers with the report finding they are “living in the shadows” and increasingly vulnerable members of Australian towns and cities.

“These people face prolonged delays in assessing their refugee claims, with limited government support to meet their health and other needs,” said Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow.

“They risk severe deterioration in their living conditions and mental health, with many at higher risk of suicide.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs told media that asylum seekers who could not support themselves while waiting for their immigration status may be supported through the government’s Status Resolution Support Services program, which offers housing, counselling, health services and income support.

She said bridging visa holders generally had access to Medicare and mental health services through the public health system.

More reports to come

JRS Australia director Carolina Gottardo said that her organisation works with thousands of people from this group each year and provided input for the report.

She said it has seen single mothers who have experienced domestic violence and couples over the age of 60 who have not been given access to the Status Resolution Support Services, and sick people with court hearings or ministerial intervention applications who have not had Medicare or bridging visas for months.

“These are people whose lives have been hidden in plain sight, whose fundamental struggles for safety and dignity have not been understood or heard.”

“This important report by the Australian Human Rights Commission will be the first of many to shed a comprehensive light on Australia’s asylum policies and their harmful impacts not just for those in detention but those living in our cities and towns as well,” Ms Gottardo said.

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20170210T0926-7882-CNS-IRAQI-REFUGEES-LEBANON-808 Nizar al-Qassab, an Iraqi Christian refugee from Mosul, gets a kiss from his children as they prepare to depart from Beirut international airport on 8 February 2017. PHOTO: CNS photo/Mohamed Azakir, EPA
Phillipa Martyr: A catechesis Australia needs https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/phillipa-martyr-a-catechesis-australia-needs/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 00:30:36 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25205 Confusion revealed in Plenary Council listening sessions The Plenary Council has recently started to release some of its preliminary findings from the listening sessions that have taken place across the country. The findings are fascinating. This process has brought to light a wonderful opportunity for re-evangelisation on a broad scale. It’s shown exactly where there […]

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Harnessing diametrically opposed views on the Church’s faith will be a significant challenge.

Confusion revealed in Plenary Council listening sessions

The Plenary Council has recently started to release some of its preliminary findings from the listening sessions that have taken place across the country.

The findings are fascinating. This process has brought to light a wonderful opportunity for re-evangelisation on a broad scale.

It’s shown exactly where there needs to be targeted adult Catholic education to help the 10 per cent of Catholics who still attend Mass on a regular basis, but who are clearly confused and distressed by the changes they are facing inside and outside the Church.

If its own reported data is anything to go by, the Plenary Council has accurately captured the state of Catholic belief in the pews at the parochial level. It certainly looks a lot like the session I attended in person.

My listening session was held jointly for two local parishes with about 20 older adults, none of whom had the same idea of what the Catholic Church was, what it taught, or why it taught it. I was the youngest person there apart from J, the young man assisting the facilitator – and I was old enough to be J’s mother.

Some were scandalised to tears by the sexual abuse crisis, not having realised its full extent before now. But mostly we listened to each other with expressions of growing dismay, as it dawned on us that we all believed quite different things.

We had different views about marriage, about contraception, about the priesthood, and about the sacraments. In most cases those views were diametrically opposed and could never co-exist in any normal universe, let alone in the one Church.

Plenary Discussion Group

And naturally this meant that our ideas about how to go forward were also completely different from each other – and mutually exclusive.

For example, if you think that the Church’s worship should be lay-led, it’s hard to see that co-existing with the ministerial priesthood. If you believe that the ministerial priesthood is reserved to men only, then calls for the ordination of women seem to come from an alternate reality.

So there we were, like sheep without a shepherd.

Our facilitator made notes which I assume were forwarded to the Council for processing as our collective views. I can only guess about this, because I never saw what was forwarded.

The Anglican communion has shown us what happens when you try to accommodate multiple different interpretations of the Christian deposit of faith. You end up with an increasingly irrelevant and top-heavy organisation with a substantial property portfolio and almost empty churches.

By contrast, the smaller non-Latin Catholic rite groups in the Australian Church – the Maronites, the Melkites, the Syro-Malabar community – have strong and coherent doctrinal identities and quadruple the rates of Mass attendance.

Some of this may be dependent partly on cultural identity, but their clear sense of who they are and what they believe is a useful lesson to us.

The tiny local communities in mainstream parishes are still practising, but they aren’t quite sure why.

They struggle with the reality of the Eucharist, the validity of the ministerial priesthood, and the value of celibacy.

They don’t know why their children and grandchildren no longer attend Mass or the sacraments, even after 12 years of expensive Catholic schooling.

They see their children and grandchildren living lives that were unthinkable to an older generation of Catholics: divorce, children born out of wedlock, cohabitation, same sex marriages and partnerships.

So what to do? At the very least, it’s clear we have to help this puzzled generation with sound catechesis on the authentic deposit of faith. Perhaps if we can get that right, we will be in a better position to help the even smaller number of middle-aged and younger Catholics in the pews as well.

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Martyr-210719 Harnessing diametrically opposed views on the Church’s faith will be a significant challenge. Groupdiscussion_Plenary2020_850
Mass marks founder’s feast https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/mass-marks-founders-feast/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 20:30:57 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25228 Old and young and from every walk of life they came, to fill St Mary’s Cathedral and celebrate the life and work of the man many regard as a spiritual father. The occasion was the annual feast of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. St Josemaria, canonised in 2002 by one of his […]

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Archdiocesan Vicar General, Fr Gerry Gleeson, below, presided at the Mass. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Archdiocesan Vicar General, Fr Gerry Gleeson, below, presided at the Mass. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Old and young and from every walk of life they came, to fill St Mary’s Cathedral and celebrate the life and work of the man many regard as a spiritual father.

The occasion was the annual feast of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei.
St Josemaria, canonised in 2002 by one of his greatest admirers, Pope St John Paul II, died in 1975.

By the time his earthly life ended, he had inspired thousands in his native Spain and further afield with the idea that holiness was not just something for priests and enclosed religious but the standard goal for every member of the Church.

Image of St Josemaria Escriva stands in St Mary's Cathedral at the Mass for the Saint's feast. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Image of St Josemaria Escriva stands in St Mary’s Cathedral at the Mass for the Saint’s feast. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Holiness, or sanctity, St Josemaria insisted throughout his life, was not just for the few but, rather, the normal condition for every Christian. This sanctification of daily life, St Josemaria said, was the real ‘work of God’ – hence the name Opus Dei.

The Mass, presided over by Archdiocesan Vicar General Fr Gerald Gleeson, underscored the point.

Reflecting on the Gospel for the feast, Fr Gleeson observed in his homily that when Christ tells his followers he will make them fishers of men, St Luke’s account changes the verb from ‘fish’ to ‘catch.’

The Greek word used in this passage actually means to catch something alive and protect its life, Fr Gleeson said.

“Here we have, I suspect, an allusion to the mission of those like yourselves who have embraced the charism of Opus Dei,” Fr Gleeson said, “the call to grow in personal holiness and to exercise the apostolate in and through your daily work, an apostolate of building up God’s kingdom and ‘catching’ others to share in this work by the joy and love you bring to it.”

Families descended on St Mary’s Cathedral to fill it for the feast of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Families descended on St Mary’s Cathedral to fill it for the feast of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Fr Gleeson was also joined for concelebration of the Mass by Opus Dei’s Vicar in Australia, Fr Inigo Martinez-Fernandez, and fellow clergy.

Since coming to Australia 56 years ago, Opus Dei has expanded from its Sydney base to other major Australian centres including Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Albury and Newcastle.

It is the only personal prelature in the Church, something like a global diocese without borders headed by a bishop in Rome.

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rosengren-opusdei-1-210719 Archdiocesan Vicar General, Fr Gerry Gleeson, below, presided at the Mass. Photo: Giovanni Portelli rosengren-opusdei-2-210719 Image of St Josemaria Escriva stands in St Mary's Cathedral at the Mass for the Saint's feast. Photo: Giovanni Portelli rosengren-opusdei-210719 Families descended on St Mary’s Cathedral to fill it for the feast of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
Catholicism is King in the Pridelands https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/catholicism-is-king-in-the-pridelands/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 06:54:18 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25258 Unless you live under Pride Rock, you would have heard that Disney’s “live-action” remake of The Lion King premiers today in theatres across the country. The original 1994 film, produced during Disney’s Renaissance period from 1989-1999, has grossed over $968.5 million worldwide, is the third highest-grossing film by Walt Disney Animation and has a Broadway […]

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© 2014 raymondsanti. Licensed under CC-BY.
© 2014 raymondsanti. Licensed under CC-BY.

Unless you live under Pride Rock, you would have heard that Disney’s “live-action” remake of The Lion King premiers today in theatres across the country.

The original 1994 film, produced during Disney’s Renaissance period from 1989-1999, has grossed over $968.5 million worldwide, is the third highest-grossing film by Walt Disney Animation and has a Broadway musical adaptation that has become the third longest-running show and highest grossing Broadway production in history.

The worldwide success of The Lion King is due to its beautifully crafted story that touches the hearts of audiences on so many different levels. One, which some may not immediately realise, is the spiritual.

The film’s iconic story is influenced heavily by the Christian Bible but is filled with Catholic truth and symbolism.

Take the very first scene.

The opening sequence is much like the beginning of Genesis, depicting the beauty and miracle of God’s creation.

Animals from all walks of life emerge from the darkness of their slumber into the light, making their way across the breathtaking landscapes of Africa to Pride Rock.

Pride Rock is at the centre of the kingdom and, as Dr Jordan Peterson of all people points out in an online video, represents a cathedral in its form, position and importance.

Peterson also identifies the rock as symbolic of tradition: carved into its face is the law which governs the African grassland kingdom.

As the film progresses, a pair of golden lions, symbolising divinity, have a child who is to be the hero of the story.

This divine child is baptised by the Shaman (Rafiki) who holds him up for all the creatures to see.

The parallels with Christian baptism and a priest’s elevation of the Eucharist are obvious.

Just as the Catholics fall on their knees before the Real Presence, all the creatures spontaneously bend down to worship this divine cub.

Meanwhile, roles are remarkably evocative of the biblical characters of Genesis: Mufasa and Scar respectively symbolise good and evil, God the Father and Satan.

Scar is depicted as a thin weaker lion living in a dark cave eating on whatever crawls in. He is conniving and sinister with a jet black mane, dull coloured fur, scar over one eye and a malevolent voice that actor Jeremy irons does to perfection.

The parallel between Scar and the Evil one is evident when Simba tells him about the shadowy place that his father forbade him to go.

Just as the devil tries to undermine the word of God the Father so too does Scar with Mufasa’s word as he tempts Simba to break his father’s command by telling him the shadowy place is an elephant graveyard filled with danger, ensuring the curious cub will go there.

This interaction brilliantly shows how the devil works, not by force but through temptation to use our flaws against us. In the case of Simba it’s his curiosity.

When Simba arrives at the gorge, Scar again uses Simba’s curiosity against him telling him that his Father has a surprise for him and he must wait on the rock.

Then starts the iconic scene when Scar’s minions start a stampede of wildebeest towards the cub in an attempt to kill him and his Father who has arrived to save him.

Just as the devil tries to turn us against each other, Scar uses Mufasa’s own subjects, the wildebeest, against him and his son.

And as in many biblical stories (such as Moses and Joseph), the hero Simba leaves his kingdom and wanders into the desert and the future.

Dashaun Young plays Simba in the Broadway Musical adaptation of The Lion King. Photo: Barne227/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
Dashaun Young plays Simba in the Broadway Musical adaptation of The Lion King. Photo: Barne227/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Years later, the now-adult Simba meets Rafiki again.

Longing to see his Father, Simba follows Rafiki into a maze of thick vegetation.

Finding a pool, Rafiki tells Simba his Father is below the surface, but as Simba looks into the water all he sees is his reflection.

As he looks more intently at his own reflection he begins to see his father’s face. In a poignant moment the clouds gather and Mufasa appears to give his son some words of wisdom.

Like Simba, we yearn to see God in our own lives, especially those moments where we feel lost or spiritually dry.

What is represented here is the knowledge that deep within ourselves, through the maze of our pain, weaknesses and doubt, is the reflection of God the Father in whose likeness we are created.

No matter how lost we feel or how far from God we think we are, we can make a dwelling place for God within our hearts.

God’s appearance to Simba in the clouds is redolent of other biblical scenes such as when Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai and when the disciples witness Christ’s transfiguration.

In this symbolically obvious moment, Mufasa represents God the Father again as speaks to his son Simba who can be interpreted as Christ or us in this scene.

During the dialogue between Father and son, Mufasa tells Simba that he has forgotten him.

When Simba responds with “No. How could I?” Mufasa tells Simba he has forgotten who he is and so have forgotten his father.

The exchange reveals much about ourselves as children of God. When we do not centre our lives on God, the Father, we lose our way and forget who we truly are.

The moment is even more evident when Mufasa tells Simba “You are more than what you have become … You are my son and the one true king. Remember who you are.”

Like Simba, God is calling us to become what He created us to become. We are not made for this world but for a heavenly kingdom.

This particular dialogue also recalls, in some ways, God’s identification of His Son at Christ’s baptism: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt 3: 17).

Like Christ returning after His Resurrection to destroy death and bring salvation, Simba returns to the now desolate Pridelands to overthrow his uncle Scar and restore peace and order to his kingdom.

This movie is appropriate for all the family except the very young, who may well be frightened by the malignant figure of Scar and the nail-biting tension surrounding his attempts to do away with his enemies.

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Catholicism is King in the Pridelands Unless you live under Pride Rock, you would have heard that Disney’s “live-action” remake of The Lion King premiers today in theatres across the country ... Disney,Mufasa,Nala,Simba,The Lion King,The Lion King desousa-lionking-170719 © 2014 raymondsanti. Licensed under CC-BY. desousa-lionking-1-170719 Dashaun Young plays Simba in the Broadway Musical adaptation of The Lion King. Photo: Barne227/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
The blokes who brought Bourke back https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/plan-that-rebuilt-bourke/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 05:30:20 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25222 Police Commander Greg Moore says his town of Bourke is in the news for all the right reasons.

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Some of the members of the Men of Bourke pose for a photo. The group has had a deeply positive impact on youth and deepset social problems in the remote town.
Save our Sons team leader James Moore, at left, with some of the members of the Men of Bourke who work with community partners to address causes of disadvantage.

The day NSW Police Commander Greg Moore learnt he would be transferred to Bourke for work was the day his new home was splashed across the newspaper front page as the world’s most dangerous town.

It was 2013 and the north-western NSW town was reported as leading the state in six out of eight major crime categories, with the highest assault and property crime rate in the state according to NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

It was even claimed to have the highest crime rate in the world per capita.

Fast-forward six years, and Bourke is in the spotlight for all the right reasons, with a drop of more than 30 per cent in property offences overall since 2006 and violent crime almost slashed in half.

“We still experience some significant challenges but I’m happy to report that there’s a significant drop in offending rates, particularly domestic violence and homicides,” said Superintendent Moore, who is an active member of Holy Spirit Parish, Bourke.

“We’re talking about lives saved. Reports from hospital are they are treating significantly less patients with injuries relating to violent crime.

“It’s very rewarding and satisfying to see progress over time and increasing rates of community cohesion.”

Superintendent Moore couldn’t be prouder of his town, which he said now lives by the adage that it takes a village to raise a child. As Commander of the Central North Police District, he is part of an innovative community-led model where Indigenous leaders partner with police and government and non-government organisations and service providers.

The results speak for themselves: greater social cohesion, improved education and a reduction in incarceration and crime rates in Bourke and the wider district. It’s taken years of breaking down distrust and misunderstanding between the stakeholders before solutions could begin to be put into place.

Superintendent Moore, with his wife Maggie, was recently honoured by the Queen with an Australian Police Medal
Superintendent Moore, with his wife Maggie, was recently honoured by the Queen with an Australian Police Medal

Super-charging progress was the creation of the Maranguka Community Hub. Maranguka means ‘caring for others’ in the Ngemba language.

In a strategic partnership with Just Reinvest, a group which shifts resources out of criminal justice systems into early intervention and crime prevention, Maranguka brings together multi-disciplinary approaches aimed at reducing the causes of crime.

Each morning a meeting brings together police, Indigenous leaders and community partners including representatives from CatholicCare, the Church’s social welfare agency, to discuss any issues from the night before and develop long-term strategies designed to address social disadvantage with a big focus on early childhood to break the cycle.

Many groups, individuals and organisations have got involved, including the Melbourne-based Catholic Youth Engagement Program which which has been providing the community of Bourke with great support for nearly 10 years, said Superintendent Moore.

“Co-ordinator Genevieve Bryant regularly brings out groups of youths and young adult volunteers to Bourke during school holidays to support our most vulnerable youth, often during the harshest time of the year,” he said.

“Genevieve and her team are a true inspiration and great advocates championing social justice reform. And it’s just another example of the many layers of support we are blessed with here in Bourke.”

Crucial to the Maranguka strategy is a group of men who call themselves Men Of Bourke – MOB for short – who are based at Bethlehem House in Meek Street, vacated by the Missionaries of Charity when they left the town in 2016.

“Our men’s group had lost its way, but being able to secure a home base in 2012 we started to see some progress being made,” said leader James Moore (no relation to Greg).

“With the men coming together regularly we were able to focus on our main purpose which is to be strong role models and support our youth.”

A buddy system was formed to provide mentors for the most vulnerable young people, and regular community days engage kids in fun activities around positive people.

“There’s a core of about 20 young boys aged from ages around 8-17 who were disengaging from school, getting in trouble with the police and into the court system, and we’ve looked at how to address some of those issues through role modelling,” said Mr Moore who is also a father of three.

“They would be out late at night, climbing on shop roofs and getting in all sorts of trouble.” There’s still lots more work to be done and his hope is that more local men will step up into mentoring roles.

“There are a lot of men out there still on their healing journey and a lot of young people still needing support,” he said.

Bourke Court House. Photo: Connolyb/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
Bourke Court House. Photo: Connolyb/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

A privilege to be involved

CatholicCare’s Amy Gearing said it was a “privilege” to be involved in the initial meetings with the men where they mapped out their hopes and needs in what has turned out to be a fruitful partnership between the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese, the Men of Bourke and CatholicCare.

“They wanted a range of activities from TAFE training to cultural activities, financial counselling, health screenings … to just a safe space to come and be themselves,” Ms Gearing said. “The MOB hub is all part of the Maranguka strategy but at the core it is really the men who drive the ideas and vision for their community.

“I think it’s important for us to keep going back to the men and back to that heart they all expressed and make sure we’re all working towards the same thing.

“We’re still in the early stages but it’s already been quite a journey and it’s encouraging to see what is happening in Bourke … The sky’s the limit.”

Superintendent Moore was recently honoured by the Queen with an Australian Police Medal for his dedicated service to the state’s people for more than 32 years.

“It’s a great honour, very humbling and I look at this award as an acknowledgment of the hard work being done behind the scenes of police and our partners, and the support and sacrifices of my wife Maggie and sons John and Niall,” he said.

“I’m very appreciative of the support of the community and the spirit and willingness of everyone to come together and help with such a great appetite for doing things differently with creativity and innovation.

“I was educated by the Sisters of St Joseph and it takes me back to their focus on doing your part for the community and advocating for social justice.”

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Rodrigues-Bourke-1-210719 Some of the members of the Men of Bourke pose for a photo. The group has had a deeply positive impact on youth and deepset social problems in the remote town. Rodrigues-Bourke-210719 Superintendent Moore, with his wife Maggie, was recently honoured by the Queen with an Australian Police Medal Rodrigues-Bourke-2-210719 Bourke Court House. Photo: Connolyb/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
In debt for doctor’s far-reaching vision for the culture of life https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/in-debt-for-doctors-far-reaching-vision-for-the-culture-of-life/ Wed, 17 Jul 2019 00:30:34 +0000 https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/?p=25196 It’s said that if you aren’t on social media you don’t exist. The frightening cultural amnesia bequeathed by this nostrum was brought home at the recent funeral of the distinguished Australian medical researcher, ethical and social policy pioneer Dr Joseph Natalino Santamaria OAM. The Basilica of Our Lady of Victories in Melbourne was full of […]

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Dr Joseph ‘Joe’ Santamaria as a young medical student.
Dr Joseph ‘Joe’ Santamaria as a young medical student.

It’s said that if you aren’t on social media you don’t exist. The frightening cultural amnesia bequeathed by this nostrum was brought home at the recent funeral of the distinguished Australian medical researcher, ethical and social policy pioneer Dr Joseph Natalino Santamaria OAM.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Victories in Melbourne was full of his beloved near and extended family, medical and other colleagues – many of whom, were discovered, encouraged and mentored by the canny, wise, generous, culturally acute and funny man.

But his death was not reported by the media and little can be discovered on the internet.

Dr Joe’s untiring intellectual interest and imagination is best captured in print, his voluminous correspondence and his outstanding organisational entrepreneurship.

His last book: The Coming of Age of Dr Joe (Blue Koala, 2019) was distributed to all who attended his requiem and is a delightful assembly of stories, poems and reflections.

Dr Joe always had panoramic vision but he so often led by promoting others. He had a gift for providing bridges for people to work together on important moral and social issues, well before they became mainstream

His questing social concern and a compassion born of a deep Catholic faith spearheaded his initiatives in the areas of road safety, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, healthcare ethics, natural fertility research, the promotion of marriage and family and the cultural and faith formation of young adults.

Dr Joe died in his 96th year on 30 June. He was born to Aeolian Island (islands just north of Sicily) immigrants who came to the suburb of Brunswick in Melbourne in the 1890s.

The Santamaria family of seven grew up in their parents’ fruit shop, adapting quickly and with flair to life in Australia. The family name engraved itself into 20th century Australian life and history thanks to the role of Dr Joe’s eldest brother, B.A. or “Bob” Santamaria.

Like Bob, Dr Joe was inspired by a deep sense of intellectual and cultural engagement with the Catholic Church’s social teaching and his own vocation.

Studying medicine during the Second World War, Dr Joe worked on the vital production of penicillin. In 1948 he graduated in medicine and specialised in Internal Medicine and Haematology. For a time he worked in General Practice.

In 1966, he and a St Vincent’s Hospital team travelled to South Vietnam to train medical professionals.

His social and ethical insights were also deepening throughout the 1960s as his work in Melbourne included research into the effects of alcohol dependency and abuse among many patients, some homeless, who frequented the streets around St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy.

In 1970 through a new initiative with the Sisters of Charity, he became the Director of the Centre of Community Medicine which provided both outreach and research into the social, psychological and medical impact of drug and alcohol use.

During this time and after retirement from practice, Dr Joe’s interest in the engagement of the insights of faith, culture and medical ethics saw his collaboration with Doctors John and Evelyn Billings and their team.

Dr Joseph ‘Joe’ Santamaria, later in life, a distinguished figure on the Australian medical scene.
Dr Joseph ‘Joe’ Santamaria, later in life, a distinguished figure on the Australian medical scene.

He became Head of the Natural Family Planning Clinic at St Vincent’s and President of the Natural Family Planning Clinic in Victoria.

It was clear Dr Joe’s talent for collaboration and friendship attracted support from leading Catholic thinkers, including Professors Hilgers, Jerome Lejeune, William May and Elizabeth Anscombe, Rev Ronald Lawler, John Finnis and Colin Clarke – among many others.

Dr Joe and other senior Catholic doctors became deeply concerned about the demise of the Hippocratic tradition in medicine and the challenges to healthcare posed by technology and secular ideologies.

Through his organisational attention and vision, the later-renowned Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini was enlisted as the Director of the St Vincent’s Bioethics’ Centre and as Australia’s first hospital ethicist.

Throughout the 1980s, the Centre published papers, submissions and hosted Conferences which engaged not only with Catholic but leading bioethicists, including those who opposed Catholic ethical teaching.

At the same time, Dr Joe was also busy assisting his brother Bob in forming two Australia-wide organisations: the Australian Family Association founded in 1980 as an ecumenical and cross-cultural body for the promotion of marriage and the family over a broad horizon of economic, social and cultural issues; and the Thomas More Centre founded in 1989 to promote the education and discussion of Catholic faith and reason particularly among young adults.

In these years Dr Joe contributed to research for the Pontifical Academy for Life and collaborated personally with leading Italian theologians and bioethicists including Carlo Caffarra and Elio Sgreccia, both created cardinals.

He anticipated and promoted the “culture of life” enunciated by Pope John Paul II. During that Pope’s travels to Australia in October 1986, he became his travelling personal physician.

At his funeral, Emeritus auxiliary Bishop Peter Elliott spoke of the power of Dr Joe’s prescience.

It was Joe who insisted that Melbourne needed to establish a John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family and it was Dr Joe’s driving enthusiasm which laid the groundwork for its establishment under then-Archbishop George Pell as President of the Melbourne Session in 2001.

He mentored numerous young eager researchers and activists; many will treasure enduring memories of this remarkable powerhouse.

One is of periodically losing sight of his diminutive figure in a busy Roman street after a high-powered bioethics conference in the Vatican, as he led us students, priests and doctors, humming some bars from La Traviata, to his favourite gelato bar.

Another is of his stocky figure bobbing up and down on a tractor as he and his dear Dorothy greeted guests to their mini apple and cherry farm, regaled with laughter over the serious matters of his latest writing.

Vale Dr Joe, we are in your debt. May you delight in the life and truth of God.

Pray for us to keep your balance of faith, hospitality, wry humour and intelligence alive in the Church today.

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krohn-drjoespehsantamaria-210719 Dr Joseph ‘Joe’ Santamaria as a young medical student. krohn-drjoespehsantamaria-1-210719 Dr Joseph ‘Joe’ Santamaria, later in life, a distinguished figure on the Australian medical scene.