News around the Diocese - No. 27 - April 2009
This issue of Our Diocesan Community
higlights some of the ways the quality
of leadership contributes to life
around the Diocese. At the heart of
any Christian leadership are these
words of Pope John Paul II: “Permit
me to go immediately to the heart of
my message. It is this : Jesus Christ
needs you for the building up of his
Kingdom on earth. And the Church
needs your special gifts, individually
and collectively, to fulfill her mission
of communicating Christ. Moreover,
millions of your fellowmen and
women count on your services in order
to live worthy lives in accordance with
their human and Christian dignity.”
(Manila, February 27, 1981) May we all
continue to respond to this challenge.
We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese.
We gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the Sea
in interwoven faith communities.
Spirit-filled, we celebrate and share our journey
reaching out to nurture all God’s people.
Draft Vision Statement for the Diocese
FR DAN ARUNDELL, visiting Priest for the Sea Lake Parish, celebrated his final Masses for the communities of the Parish on January
25. For the past six years, Fr Dan, who is officially retired, has travelled fortnightly from Ballarat to celebrate Mass (or as required for
weddings and funerals) in Sea Lake, Nandaly and Culgoa. Alternate weekends he served the Ouyen Catholic parish.
Following 7.00 p.m. Mass in Nandaly on Saturday evening and 8.30 a.m. Mass and 11.00 a.m. Mass held in Sea Lake and Culgoa on
Sunday morning (respectively), the congregations gathered to thank Fr Dan for his contribution over the past six years and to wish him
well in his new appointment.
Nandaly parishioners gathered in St. Joseph’s church for dinner and a social evening. Chris Hall spoke on behalf of the congregation in
thanking Fr Dan for his constant travelling and spiritual direction afforded parishioners. His time and effort has been most appreciated.
Similar gatherings were held in Sea Lake and Culgoa where, following Mass, Fr Dan spent time reminiscing with parishioners and humbly
accepting many thanks and well wishes. The St. Mary’s Parish (encompassing the three communities) presented Fr Dan with a gift
certificate and a card signed by all present.
Fr Dan responded saying that he was sad to be leaving but the people of the district will be fondly remembered. He thanked Parish
Leader, Sr Margaret Brown and everyone most sincerely for all that had been done for him over his six years in the Mallee.
to Sister
Farewell to
Father Dan
In February, the Sea Lake Parish agained gathered to bid farewell. Bishop Peter Connors was the celebrant for the Mass in St. Mary’s
Church, Sea Lake which officially opened the school year and farewelled Parish Leader, Sr Margaret Brown. The church was packed
with St. Mary’s students, staff and their families, parishioners and several members of the Sea Lake Uniting Church who had come to
wish Sr Margaret all the best.
At the end of the celebration St. Mary’s Primary School leaders for 2009 were asked to come forward. They were blessed by Bishop
Connors and presented with their badges by Sr Margaret. School Captains for 2009 are Nakia Nunn and Joel Clohesy. Vice Captains are
Nash Kerr, Ebony McLean, Alice Kelly and Chloe Martin. After Mass everyone remained in the church as a special tribute was presented
to Sr Margaret. An audio visual presentation featured photographs of Sister as well as thoughts, reminisces and good wishes from the
children. Accompanying the presentation was one of Sister’s favourite pieces of music, ‘The Irish Blessing.’
After the presentation all were invited to a farewell luncheon held at the school. All enjoyed a barbecue, salads and sweets. The large
crowd was clear evidence of how highly regarded Sr Margaret is held in the Sea Lake and district community. St. Mary’s School Principal,
Darren McDonald, spoke of how important Sr Margaret had been to school, parish and community life over the past six years and how
sorely she would be missed. Mr McDonald also reminded everyone that this was Sr Margaret’s second stint in Sea Lake. During her
previous appointment she had taught many of the current students’ parents. Very early in her vocation (in Gippsland), Sr Margaret had
even taught one current student’s grandmother! St. Mary’s parishioners (which includes Sacred Heart in Culgoa and St. Joseph’s in
Nandaly) and friends of Sr Margaret were then invited to speak. All paid tribute to her good nature, genuine compassion and tireless
service to the parish.
Sr Margaret gave a heartfelt response, thanking everyone for their kind words. She said that her friends in the Mallee would be remembered.
With a few tears but much love and laughter, Sr Margaret was wished all the best as she goes forward on her spiritual journey.
With thanks – Articles by courtesy of “Sea Lake & Wycheproof Times Ensign”
our diocesan community (ODC)
A joint publication of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and the Catholic Education Office of Ballarat.
The Editorial Committee of Our Diocesan Community wishes to thank the many people who have contributed to this issue. We also acknowledge
the support through sponsorship of the Catholic Superannuation Fund, Catholic Church Insurances, the Ballarat Catholic Development Fund and
Australian Catholic University - Aquinas Campus.
Sr Anne McMillan, Mr Allen Moloney, Sr Geraldine Mugavin, Mr Peter Schreenan,
Mr. John Corrigan, Mrs Jenny Kingston, Ms. Fiona Tonkin, Mr. Peter Kerwan
During 2009, ODC will be published in April, September and December. All contributions to ODC may be forwarded to: OUR Diocesan
community, PO Box 576, Ballarat 3353. Phone: (03) 5337 7179 Fax: (03) 5333 5148
Email: [email protected]
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
“Leadership is a responsibility offered…”
FR LEO DONNELLY, Columban Father, born and bred in
Ballarat, now lives in retirement in Peru after spending over 50
years of missionary life there.
A leader also has to know how to pool diversity thus finding ways
to challenge the Lie of prestige that governs so much of our
world. Because of this it demands a capacity to take on board
different opinions. A real leader enjoys a capacity to generate
initiative that enables.
Leadership is a responsibility offered by a community and
its core value is a genuine care for those people.
Leadership is not: • a quest for Prestige, the insidious third part of the Lie in our
world, unfortunately present in nearly all. (Greed and Power
rate first and second but are more exclusive);
• theatre, which is an essential part of our nature, so roles and
apparel are important, but, in their place. I find I shudder at
the years of clerical garb blatantly screaming at people: “Hey,
look at me, I’m someone”.
I lament the time spent in building, in administration, in the
endless hours of bureaucracy.
How then might a priest be a leader ?
Born in Ballarat on February 17, 1932, Leo began his primary
education at St Aloysius’ Parish School, Redan and went on
to St Patrick’s College, Ballarat for his secondary schooling.
He began his Spiritual Year for the missionary priesthood in
1951 at St Columban’s, Wahroonga, returning to Essendon
for philosophy and then back to Wahroonga for theology. He
was ordained to the Priesthood on July 21, 1957 at St. Patrick’s
Cathedral, Ballarat by Bishop J.P. O’Collins.
a. caring for people, simply as persons;
b. being ever ready to listen and loath to command;
c. bringing the best out of others, so drawing each one to
d. being credible by sharing all aspects of people’s lives;
e. by simply being there for others.
Appointed to Lima, Peru, he arrived there in April 1958. In those
days the Mass and the sacraments were in Latin. He began
parish pastoral work without language studies in Spanish. He
spent 1969-70 in Tamshiyacu on the Amazon, standing in for
a sick American friend. In 1972 he spent a short time with the
Carthusians in Vermont and on returning to Lima was elected
Director of the Region in 1974, a role he held until 1980. Those
were demanding times as the Church went through a painful
transition after the Second Vatican Council and in Peru these
were followed by years of Shining Path terrorism.
Returning to Australia his main task was Vocations Director
for the Australia/New Zealand Region. Leo returned to Peru in
1986. In 1990 he was appointed to Huasahuasi in the Andes,
350kms east of Lima. During his time there, guerrillas who
were terrorising the countryside executed among many others,
Australian Josephite Sr Irene McCormick. Concurrent with this
appointment was his role as Vice Regional Director. He retired
from formal pastoral work in 2005 but continues to assist in
parishes on request.
We asked Fr. Leo to reflect on Leadership from his perspective
as a leader among the many communities he has served during
his fifty-plus years of service. He writes:
“I would like to highlight how I see what leadership is and
perhaps for clarity what it is not.
Leadership is:• Having clear goals in mind and being convinced of their
• Then adjusting one’s life in that direction, coupled with the
gift of how to communicate one’s goals to others;
• Displaying a willingness to delegate with trust that will
• Accompanying, walking with, rubbing shoulders, accepting
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
And some final words from Leo written for an article “Why Go
Back? in the Far East, January-February 2009.
“Our people in Peru see missionaries as persons, just as the
‘ritually unclean’ saw Jesus. Being prepared to spend our lives
with and for them is a beginning; most of their own experience
of life is of being betrayed. To help annul this suspicion, our
identification has to be confirmed in death and burial shared with
them – for some of us at least. Staying with them, dying and
being buried with them is a proven powerful witness. It denies
we are there for some motive of our own. It affirms we see them
as persons, as equals. The kingdom of God is about being equal
in dignity.”
With thanks to “The Far East” for the photographs.
Sunday 15 February saw Australian Catholic University (Ballarat Campus) welcome new students and their families to the 2009 academic
year. About 150 excited – and a little apprehensive – new students, together with their families and friends as well as staff of the
University, gathered in the lovely gardens of the Campus. Fr Greg Tait, chaplain to the campus, presided at the Mass to celebrate the
start of a new academic year.
Campus Dean, Anne Hunt, also extended a special welcome to the University’s first cohort of “Early Achievers,” students who were
accepted into the University on the basis of their contributions to their local communities in community service and leadership, rather
than just their ENTER score. “We have chosen you,” she explained, “not just on the basis of a ENTER score, but on who you are and the
kind of person you are becoming.” She went on to say that ACU, having selected the “Early Achievers” on the basis of their contributions
to their local communities, looked forward to the students’ contributions to the life of the University. ACU’s aim, she said, “is to produce
graduates who will go on and help build a better and more just world.” “University education,” she explained, “is not just about how to
make a living. It is about how to make a life, a life that is meaningful and worthwhile.”
ACU Ballarat has seen an unprecedented growth in student’s numbers, with almost 300 new students commencing in 2009 in teaching,
early childhood education, nursing and paramedicine programs. Most students coming to the ACU Ballarat Campus come from Victoria,
with many from the Diocese of Ballarat. But some students come from much further afield, some even from overseas, with one student
from USA at ACU Ballarat in a student exchange program. ACU Ballarat provides accommodation and a lot of pastoral support for new
students at its Camillus Residences. Professor Hunt said that, in the light of the growing number of students studying at the Ballarat
Campus, plans are in train to increase student accommodation and support services.
Australian Catholic University, Ballarat Campus Dean, Associate Professor Anne Hunt OAM
Associate Professor Anne Hunt welcomes a new student.
Bishop Connors with 2008 ACU students at Aquinas
“Bethesda” - A Place of Rest
Many people come to Ballarat from the country areas of the Diocese
because they have doctor appointments, someone in hospital or need for
a time of respite. “Bethesda” is a short term accommodation house run
by the Sisters of Mercy in Ballarat, which may be of assistance. Located
at 129 Victoria Street, Ballarat East, “Bethesda” is within walking distance
to the centre of the city, across the
road from St. Alipius’ Church, has
a bus stop close by and limited off
road parking. “Bethesda” offers short
term self-catering accommodation at
reasonable cost.
For information, bookings and application forms contact:
Sr. Kathleen Moran on 0428 730872 or (03) 53311983 (calls between 9am & 8pm).
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Leadership in Community Care
SOUTHERN CROSS CARE (Vic) (SCCV) was founded by the Knights of the Southern Cross in 1969. Today it is a highly respected
provider of aged and community care services and housing and independent living options across metropolitan Melbourne and regional
Victoria. Building on 40 years of experience and our Christian values, our dedicated team of 1,100 personnel and over 300 volunteers are
committed to providing services designed to promote client choice through a range of care. Many of our clients live alone both in town
and rurally, a high percentage of clients suffer from dementia.
In Ballarat, SCCV operates from St Columba’s old presbytery building in Armstrong Street North and provides Commonwealth Government
funded aged care packages to frail aged living in the community. SCCV Ballarat also offers a Home Care Program providing personnel
to assist people with personal care, home care and in-home respite care.
During 2008 SCCV embarked on a special project to cater for our clients, especially those who are socially isolated and have little contact
with others. This was in response to growing concerns that many of our clients rarely have the opportunity to enjoy a special outing of any
kind and many endure long periods of loneliness, especially those who suffer from dementia.
With much planning and consultation with our clients, their carers and the staff of Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat, we offered a limited
number of our clients the opportunity to attend 3 concerts. The Knights of the Southern Cross were approached to assist in funding the
program and graciously and generously agreed to do so.
On March 14th, an extremely hot and uncomfortable day, eight clients attended “The Mikado” and the outing was a great success for
them. Next, on August 14th followed “Ireland with a Song in my Heart”, featuring Annalisa Kerrigan. Thirteen clients attended and enjoyed
this wonderful concert, although this time it was raining and cold. Our last outing for the year saw sixteen clients attend “A Very Merry
Gaslight Christmas” completing a fantastic musical program for 2008. All in attendance were enthralled.
This mainstream entertainment has been a wonderfully rewarding project in which to participate and has brought much joy and magic
back into the lives of these frail aged people. For some it was the first visit to Her Majesty’s, for others it had been 20 to 30 years since
they had attended a musical production. We had some hiccups and funny tales to tell along the way but look forward to continuing this
program in 2009. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Knights of the Southern Cross.
Southern Cross Care operates in the local government regions of Moorabool, Golden Plains and the Pyrenees. Should you wish to
access the services of SCCV you may phone our office during business hours on 5331 4478.
Kath Ragg - Regional Manager, Care Packages Grampians Southern Cross Care (Vic)
Monivae College Hamilton Principal, Bernard Neal, has just made history by becoming the
longest serving Principal at the school when he commenced his tenth consecutive year as
Principal of the college in January. The previous longest serving Principal was Father Malcolm
Fyfe, who served the Monivae community for nine years.
Mr Neal said that he would like to continue his career at Principal level, either at Monivae or
perhaps at another college in the future. He said he was very proud to have been involved with
the many changes the college had gone through throughout his time. “I feel very proud that I
have been a part of a school with a long and proud tradition and history and to have been a part
of that history over that period of time gives me a very special feeling of pride and involvement
and connection.”
Mr Neal said that the biggest change in his career with the school had been in the physical
changes to the boarding house, the financial management and, most importantly, the educational
programs. He said the changes in the college’s pastoral care and student behaviour had also
undergone massive change. The next change on the horizon is the relocation of the St. Mary’s
Primary School to the Monivae College grounds. “St Mary’s is awaiting approval of their funding
application and once they receive that, things will go ahead very quickly.”
The Golden Jubilee celebrated in 2004 and an overseas study tour were among his highlights
of working at the school. “The most memorable experience was the Golden Jubilee in 2004 - as
an event, it was spectacular. It celebrated the first 50 years of Monivae’s existence and also
happened to fall in the same year that we celebrate 150 years of the MSC Order and 100 years
of the Order of Australia.”
MSC Board member, Father Dennis Uhr, was involved with the school as Principal for seven years from 1978 till 1984 and has been an
advisor and support to principals and staff for the past three years. Father Uhr said Mr Neal had brought the necessary energy to the
college to make it what it is today. “He is a fine Principal. He brought to the school energy, a vision and drive, which the school and the
community was looking for. He enabled the school to be almost transformed – and I think he has done it very well.”
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
In 2006 two members of the Leadership Team of Marian College in Ararat
were privileged to visit Canada with the Catholic Education Study Tour,
to look at the concept of Self Directed Learning. From this trip, staff
members Darren Hovey and Matthew Summers came back with the idea
of implementing certain aspects of what they saw. The end result has been
a three year process culminating this year with a full version of the Teacher
Student Interview Program (TSI) at Marian College.
This program (modelled on the Canadian Teacher Advisor Program)
involves all students at the school being formally interviewed once every
five weeks by their individually allocated TSI teacher. (We have 24 TSI
groups with 20 students in each). These students are arranged vertically
to allow the teacher to monitor and track each student through the course
of their educational life here at Marian College. This interview takes place
between the student and their teacher, with the aid of technology that
supplies a written comment from all the students subject teachers. After
discussion between the two, a report is immediately sent home to parents,
where space is provided for written feedback from them.
The school has
so far had overwhelming positive feedback from students, staff
and parents and has been a major pastoral initiative over the last
three years. The bonus for our school has been the improvement in
communication between school and home and the major advantage
of having a significant adult in the students school life linked to every
one of our students.
Both Darren and Matthew have also spent some time presenting to a
variety of groups and school across Victoria in regards to the model
as it currently operates at Marian College. These schools have been
both Catholic and government schools, and primary and secondary
If you are interested in discussing the program further and the benefits
that it could possibly have for your school please do not hesitate to contact Marian College.
John Crowley - Principal
Youth Leadership: Reaping the Returns of WYD
For me and I am sure, many young people, youth leadership in the
church is now inextricably linked with the events of World Youth Day
in July last year.
WYD was a blessing in many ways. For me, it revealed a new life in
the church, pulsing with enthusiasm and vitality. Anyone who attended
or saw footage of WYD last year could have no doubt of this passion!
To watch masses upon masses of people cheering for the Pope and
Jesus, or to sense the intimate friendship and camaraderie between
fellow pilgrims was a truly profound experience.
Siobhan (second from left) with ‘the Pope’
The fruit of WYD is only just beginning to emerge. Australian Young
Christian Workers experienced unprecedented growth after WYD and
I’m sure many parishes could attest to a rejuvenated faith in the young
people who attended. The seeds have been sown; it is up to the rest
of the church to harvest them. Young people bring with them fresh new
ideas, optimism and energy, bound by a common love of Christ. They
have so much to offer the church and the world in general. It is up to the
rest of the community to offer encouragement and support. After all, we
are investing in the future!
Siobhan Simper - Warrnambool
*Siobhan was one of the young people from St. Joseph’s Parish, Warrnambool who attended World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Centacare And Wendouree West
Exodus Community
Work Together
The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) between the Wendouree West Exodus Community
and Centacare Diocese of Ballarat Inc. will mean a
closer working relationship between the two groups in
the future.
Each year, the Rite of Election is held on the first weekend
of Lent. This is the time when those around the Diocese,
Catechumens and Candidates, who are seeking to become
Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and
the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children, are presented to the
Bishop as part of their journey to the Easter Sacraments.
The MOU has the following aims and objectives:
Centacare and the Exodus Community will work together
in order to:
• break the cycle of poverty, inequity and social injustice
for disadvantaged people in Wendouree West;
• enhance people’s wellbeing and promote social
inclusion through re-engagement in the community;
• build the capacity of the Ballarat community to
enhance the lives of those who are disadvantaged
and vulnerable.
• work closely with other community organizations with
a view to providing the help that the community of
Wendouree West requires.
From Creswick
The MOU will mean that the Exodus Community will
be able to draw upon the personnel and resources of
Centacare. In turn Centacare will have a direct connection
into the Wendouree West Community through Exodus.
Under the sponsorship of Centacare, Exodus will also be
able to explore funding opportunities from government
sources for programs to meet community needs.
From Wendouree (top)
From Warrnambool (below)
The MOU was signed by David Beaver, Director,
Centacare,(left) Diocese of Ballarat, Fr. Frank Smith
CssR (centre) representing the Exodus Community and
Fr. Gerry Prunty, (right) Parish Priest of Wendouree. The
work of Exodus is part of the mission of OLHC Parish
A significant benefit for Exodus fundraising is that
because of this formal relationship with the work of
Centacare, donations are now tax-deductible. Anyone
wishing to support Exodus can forward a donation clearly
to Centacare, Diocese of Ballarat, PO Box 2537, Bakery
Hill, 3354.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
The parishes of Ararat, Ballarat Cathedral, Wendouree,
Sebastopol, Creswick, Koroit, Hamilton, Warrnambool,
Mildura and Ballarat North will be welcoming catechumens
and candidates into the Church at Easter. Many gathered in
St. Patrick’s Cathedral on February 28 to celebrate the Rite of
Election and then joined the Bishop for lunch in St. Patrick’s
Pat Dodson, winner of the 2008 Sydney Peace Prize, has absolutely no doubt that both he and
his brother Mick, recipient of the 2009 Australian of the Year Award, are where they are today
because of Monivae College, Hamilton. They loved Monivae and the western district communities, the farming families who took them in during school holidays and weekends, and the people
of Hamilton when they attended the college as boarders in the 1960s. Pat shares this reflection
of those times.
“Monivae College taught us all about spirit and struggle, generosity, fairness, challenge and debate, community and making a contribution,
teamwork and leadership. There was a diligence within the structure about teaching us punctuality, responsibility and accountability,
traits important in the forming of young men (it was an all boy school back in those days). The football, study, sporting teams all built a
lot of trust and confidence across the cultural divide and developed the spirit of the individual.
Monivae was our home with a hundred or more boys sleeping bed by bed in dorms and we were permitted one-minute showers. We were
all treated equally regardless of colour or background (except for two older boys from Manilla who were allowed to read the newspaper
– none of the rest of us were allowed to read it!). We didn’t have television at all. We felt that we shared a common fate with everyone
else at the college and had a strong sense of belonging. We couldn’t go home during holidays (Pat and Mick were orphans) and there
was a lovely old lady from Hamilton who would bake cakes and bring them in for us, which was very special. Mick and I were made to
feel a bit special too, the majority of the boys stood up for us – they were protective of us both.
The Gartlan family from Casterton took us in for school holidays and they were really the anchor for both of us. Bernie Bourke from Port
Fairy – Mick spent time with his family a lot during breaks and he and Bernie were closest mates. We were very poor being orphans and
had nothing really, so we worked on farms and stations during the holidays for money and those families were always very generous
toward us.
Mick was smaller in stature as a young bloke and had lots of blues while we were there. He held the one-mile record so was an excellent
distance runner, was in the 1st 18 football side, the Cadets and was Vice Captain of the school. I do remember us always having great
rivalry in everything with Hamilton College. They had one very good cricketer but oh, we always just overwhelmed them, we were too
Monivae gave us the opportunities, not in a patronising way; the college really respected you as an individual. I remember Father Prentice
– I wanted to go into the college band and he said “No, you have good leadership qualities so you will become a platoon leader instead.”
That’s what they were good at, seeing a strength or quality in someone and guiding them towards it, to get the best out of themselves.
Monivae has a lot to be proud of – Mick and I both see it as having been integral to our paths in life. Like a true almer mater.
At a luncheon hosted recently by the Governor-General for the Australian of the Year Finalists, we were talking with Sally Leake,
Programme Manager at Government House in Canberra. Sally is another ex-Monivae student from Coleraine, and we spoke with a
sense of pride that we had both come from Monivae. Public speaking classes were very valuable and gave us the skills in responding to
questions without notice, public questions, etc. Monivae gave us a sense of standards and values that you should aspire to. There were
fantastic teachers there; Father Luby took football and Father Clune was the Bursar. He made me laugh with his favourite saying “You
gotta have a system, boys!” I know that had we not gone to Monivae we would not have got the formation or developed the resilience
that we have – it’s as it says – “Fortes in Fide” – strength in faith (the Monivae motto). It makes you strong in faith, will and solidarity and
gives you a sense of friendship, mateship.
We have fond memories of the whole experience with
Monivae, the township of Hamilton and its people and
the farming and broader families of the western district.
We were treated kindly by all. I remember a man by
the name of Bill Walsh who worked in Thompsons
Department Store. He’d say to us, holding up a school
uniform, “Look, someone’s left this here and doesn’t want
it – so you should take it, here you are”. That was such
kindness. Then there were the Strangios and their fruit
shop and the Hockeys who would give us Boston buns.
We had to walk into the town from the college.
When asked what lies in store for the Dodson duo next,
Pat said laughing “That’s easy – Mick’s gonna reform the
country!” Seriously though, he’s working on the United
Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights in his role as
professor at A.N.U. This is just one of many “projects”
Mick is committed to.
Continued next page .....
“Monivae High Achievers at Government House in Canberra
– Mick Dodson, Sally Leake and Patrick Dodson”
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
‘Monivae Responsible’ continued .....
I am presently working with the Governor General of Western
Australia on the following:
• An “Australian Dialogue”, a strategic conversation
across the nation on the relationship between indigenous
people and the Australian nation state about government
policy and action on Indigenous people’s participation in
Australian society;
• Youth in the Kimberleys, a conference in July looking at
students in secondary school, working on what they can
put back into their communities;
• A Kimberly conversation with leaders of the region on a
range of issues; and
• An initiative addressing the alarming and escalating
rate of suicide in the region and finding better outcomes
for people at risk.
Clearly Pat and Mick Dodson will continue to make a great
contribution to the future of Australia and it is easy to see
why one is a Sydney Peace Prize winner and the other our
newest Australian of the Year. Monivae is very proud to have
played a part in their formative years and to have given them
so many happy memories.
Shared Responsibility of Service
As parishioners of the Cororooke Parish, St. Brendan’s
Coragulac and St. Joseph’s Pirron Yallock, we have been
challenged by the implications of change, especially in the last
twelve months.
Sr. Margaret Carmody SGS concluded her time as Parish
Leader in February 2008 and the parish adopted a pilot-model
of parish ministry coordinated by Lay Coordinators. From
twenty six nominations, three co-coordinators were discerned
and accepted voluntary and unremunerated responsibility for
the areas of Liturgy, Administration and Community. They were
commissioned by Bishop Peter Connors in April 2008.
The co-coordinators are embedded in the Parish Leadership
Team and along with the Finance Committee, attend to the
day-to-day running of the Parish. We strive to focus on an
understanding that leadership is a shared responsibility of
service – not one person doing everything, but everyone doing
something. Our Parish has a strong sense of ownership and
commitment. We strongly value the participation of our young
Faith Formation
Last year the Diocesan Faith Formation & Spirituality
Reference Group (FFSRG), which developed from the
Diocesan Assembly provided examples of some of the many
initiatives and leadership in faith formation taking place
around our Diocese. Here are some further examples:
• God Start
• Formation for Leaders of Children’s Liturgy
• Liturgy Workshops 2007 & 2008
• Formation of Leaders for Sunday Assemblies
• Meditation Workshops
• Young Mothers Group – Spiritual & Personal
• Retreat in Daily Life,2006, 2007, 2008, Jesuit Led.
• Shared reflection of Scripture at daily/weekday Mass
This Parish hosts ‘Women at the Well’ gatherings with guest
speakers and discussion, on matters of faith, spirituality
and personal development. Open to all women of the
Diocese. The group is affiliated with the Australian Bishops’
Commission for Women. Gatherings generally take place
on a Saturday and include a shared meal.
Because of .their limited access to Sunday Eucharist, about
ten members of the Beaufort Parish share the leadership
of Sunday Assembly and prepare themselves by meeting
during the preceeding week to pray and reflect on the
• Lenten Program - ‘Gathered for Giving’ including Anglican
and Uniting Church people. Some continued to meet
beyond the programs.
• Godstart continuing to grow.
• Returning Catholics: a six week program.
• Three-week ‘at home’ Retreat in Daily Life.
• Taize Prayer Group
• Emmaus Liturgy Vigil - Liturgy and a shared meal,
sometimes a Mass, on Friday evening monthly at
Emmanuel College Chapel
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
people. We are mindful of our unique identity and strong
heritage of faith. We share a passion for nurturing our small
rural communities. It is pastoral care that really matters.
The greatest blessing of this Parish is its parishioners. We
look for opportunities to affirm our people. We try not to allow
our shortcomings become our focus, but rather opportunities
for growth. Leadership is our ability to engage and empower
each other to use our God-given talents and to share a vision
that fashions our future. Circumstances may change, but the
ministry of the people continues.
Marita O’Shea, Veronica Roache, Lucy Darcy
End of an Era
Sunday, February 22, 2009 saw more than one hundred and fifty former and current parishioners and visitors join together for the closure
of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church at Watchem as a Sunday Mass venue. For 124 years, the hundreds of families and individuals who
have made up the worshipping community of St Joseph’s Watchem have gathered together each week, at the church.
The Bishop of Ballarat, Bishop Peter Connors, was the celebrant for the final Sunday Mass in the Church. The celebration recognised that
those who built this Church saw it as a witness to their faith in God and their desire to live and practice in a beautiful environment. “It is
not so much the building that is the focus of attention,” said the Bishop, “But rather it is the worshipping community that will disperse from
this holy ground for the final time to live out the message of Jesus Christ.” Bishop Peter went on to recall the important role of the priests
who served the community as they carried out Baptisms, Confirmations and Marriages. “Many of you will take away precious memories
of those moments in your lives when you came to this place to celebrate those special moments of the faith journey of you and members
of your families,” he said.
“Nor can we forget the occasions when in this place you bade
farewell to your loved ones.” “Today and for the last time in this
place on the Lord’s Day, we respond to the command of Jesus
Christ to say and do what he said and did at his Supper with his
friends on the night before he died.” The Bishop concluded by
saying that the traditional dismissal, “The Mass is ended, go in
peace” had a special significance today.
Following the Mass, those present spent much time sharing their
memories of St Joseph’s, while at the same time acknowledging
the commitment and dedication of the early parishioners who
must have worked so hard to build such a magnificent Church. All
adjourned to the hall as they continued to share their memories,
along with a light luncheon.
Although no longer a Sunday Mass venue, St Joseph’s Catholic
Church, Watchem, continues to stand as a tribute to the Catholic
community of the district.
From left to right - Regular Parishioners of St Joseph’s Watchem: Maree Spicer,
Rhonda Barbetti, Kathy Walder, Maureen Belleville, John Barbetti, Beryl Milne,
Fr Marcello Colasante, Bishop Connors, Hec Dickie, Frank Belleville, Peter
Spicer, Margaret Belleville, John Colbert, Graeme Walder, Bernie Belleville.
Acknowledgement: Text & photos courtesy of
“The Buloke Times” March 3, 2009
Past and present members of St Joseph’s Catholic Church congregation pictured following the final Mass.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Summer in the Phi
James Kerr, 21, is a third year seminarian for the Diocese.
Although born in Sale, James grew up largely in Ballarat
with his family. He was schooled at St Thomas More
Primary School in Alfredton and St Patrick’s College
Ballarat, where his father Michael was a teacher. His
family were part of the Cathedral parish and later St James’
parish in Sebastopol. James began studies in engineering
before entering the seminary in 2007. Similarly to James
McKay last year, James was sent to the Philippines for a
missionary experience over summer.
As part of our seminary formation program over summer I was
blessed with the opportunity to travel to the Bikol region of the
Philippines with two other seminarians from Corpus Christi
College. We stayed in the Archdiocese of Caceres for around 5
weeks, where we stayed in various parishes for a number of days
each from our base at the major seminary of the Archdiocese.
It was an enlightening and formative experience in which I was
able not only to make many new friends but also to see the life
of the Church in a different country and culture.
One lady I spoke to described Filipinos as “naturally Catholic.”
The central place held by the family in Filipino culture and the
joyfulness and generosity of the people demonstrated this
‘natural Catholicity’. It can also be seen in the rapid rate at which
locals converted to Christianity when the missionaries first
arrived in the Philippines over 400 years ago.
Yet despite the fact that the Philippines is predominantly Catholic
and that the Church has been present there for centuries, most
Filipino dioceses still consider themselves to be missionary. This
missionary focus can clearly be seen in the Church’s constant
and active encouragement of vocations. Given that after WYD
we now have a great opportunity for a renewal in vocations in
the dioceses of Australia, I thought it would be beneficial to share
some of the observations I made in the Philippines.
This generous and firm response to God’s calling in life is
the fruit of the constant and active promotions of vocations on the
part of families, parishes and schools. One particular program that
greatly impressed me is that every student in the Archdiocese I
visited undergoes a retreat at the end of their high school focused
entirely on vocations. This program relies on the cooperation of
families, schools and parishes and is just one of many initiatives
aimed at promoting vocations.
As a result, every single Catholic student, both from public
and private schools, is told that God has a specific plan for them
in life. Of course, not every student accepts a vocation, but such
a powerful and constant display of faith is incredibly effective in
spreading the message of meaning to a generation that thinks it
has none.
• These general programs are only a part of promoting vocations.
The seminarians I spoke to also pointed to the personal
encouragement they received in their parishes, the friendships
they formed with priests and religious and the witness to a life of
commitment given by their parents’ fidelity to each other. They also
spoke of many other factors in their vocation, but I do not have
space to speak of them all here.
Ultimately, the success I saw in the Philippines in promoting vocations
can be attributed to a constant and active promotion of vocations by
families, schools and parishes centred on the message that every
single person is called by God to live a life of purpose and meaning,
and that this meaning in life is lived most clearly by accepting the call
to a vocation, either to Christian marriage, religious life, single life or
the priesthood. God does not love us and then leave us to wander
on our own; He guides us and firmly desires us to live our lives with
Him and for Him.
Lastly though, I need to mention the most important work we can
all do in promoting vocations; to continue to pray for vocations. No
vocation can be lived apart from God’s grace. Pray that the young
people of Australia may be touched by God’s grace; so that we may
have the attentiveness to hear God’s call in our lives, the clarity to
discern that call and the courage and generosity to pursue it.
Vocations don’t just simply happen. In speaking to
seminarians, it became clear to me they too are fighting
‘against the crowd’ in accepting their vocation. Despite being
from a poorer country, they too are from a generation of mobile
phones and online chat services. It would be easy for them to
reject their priestly vocation, to get a well paid job overseas,
and yet they are firm in their desire to follow God’s plan for
them in life. We sometimes fall into despair here in Australia
and think it is impossible to stand up to an increasingly secular
culture, but the generous response of the young Filipino men
I met who were responding to God’s call showed there is also
reason for hope.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
James Kerr - Seminarian
Learning Together
St. Mary’s School, Warracknabeal has been part of a stimulating
project involving the schools in the town of Warracknabeal.
All schools have an expectation to include Mental Health in the
Curriculum under the Physical, Personal and Social Learning
Strand. The challenge for schools, including our Warracknabeal
schools, is how best to implement an effective Mental Health
benefits of the program, the three schools would implement
a united approach that would include working and planning
together, sharing resources, ensuring each school had similar
access to the visiting artists and health professional, integrating
students in workshops and ultimately, celebrating achievements
together. This has been an exciting highlight of the program as
it enabled a real community partnership to develop.
Now, after almost two years of combined planning, interaction
and hard work between the three schools, we can clearly see
the benefits in working together to achieve a goal. The staff
and students of the three schools have shown a marvellous
willingness to be involved and share the challenges, hard
work and excitement of the program. Over two nights we
witnessed the shared celebration of their efforts in the students’
performance. The audience, totalling over eight hundred for the
two nights, were absolutely captivated by these performances.
We believe that Warracknabeal community will be strengthened
as a result of the schools working together throughout the
Joy Quarrell - Principal
In Warracknabeal, regardless of which school our children attend
between the age of 5 and 12, most will have been together at our
local Kindergarten and most will continue together at our local
Secondary College. With this in mind it would seem appropriate
for our schools to work together when common issues arise.
Mental Health, being a whole community issue, would seem
a logical choice and our opportunity to trial this concept came
when all the Warracknabeal schools were invited to participate
in the Festival for Healthy Living.
Representatives from the three Warracknabeal schools, the
Special Developmental School, St. Mary’s and the Primary
School were extremely impressed with what the Festival for
Healthy Living program offered and unanimously agreed to
accept the invitation. It was also agreed that, to maximise the
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Indigenous Education Programme
ST PATRICK’S COLLEGE, BALLARAT has as part of its Catholic ethos a tradition of providing educational assistance to Indigenous
students from rural and remote communities. Through the leadership of Headmaster Dr Peter Casey a number of Indigenous students
have come to the College from rural and remote communities and lived and studied within the College’s Boarding Houses. The College
has also been active in its support of Indigenous students from the Ballarat region and is working closely with the Ballarat Aboriginal
Cooperative and other lead agencies.
The College currently has 32 Indigenous students enrolled
from Year 7 to Year 12, one of the largest groups of Indigenous
students enrolled at any Catholic or Independent school in
Victoria. Twenty Indigenous students live within the College’s
Boarding Houses coming from communities around Australia
including Bathurst Island, Timber Creek, Daly River, Alice
Springs, Shepparton, Framlingham and Heywood.
The College in 2006 was recognised as an approved provider
for the national Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme
(IYLP) as a result of its demonstrated ability to provide high
quality educational and leadership opportunities for Indigenous
students. IYLP students are provided with tuition and boarding
fee scholarships from the Foundation for Young Australians, as
well as the opportunity to participate in additional leadership
initiatives with other IYLP scholars. In 2009 the College is
honoured to have three IYLP scholarship holders recognised
by the Foundation.
In order to support all Indigenous students, the College is thrilled that Brett Goodes has joined the St Patrick’s community as the College’s
inaugural Indigenous Education Manager. Brett is known to many for his football exploits, being a VFL Premiership player with the North
Ballarat Football Club. However, he is also a highly respected member of the Ballarat Indigenous community and has quickly gained the
respect of students and staff at the College. Brett is a Pitjinjarra man and will work with our Indigenous Programmes Manager, Mr Chris
Gleeson, to develop programmes that meet the educational and vocational needs of students. For some boys this will be a traditional
VCE, whilst some boys will experience the educational outcomes sought by their community through channels such as VET Certificates
and School-based apprenticeships and traineeships.
The appointment of Brett is based upon the findings from numerous government reports that the future social and economic growth and
ongoing prosperity of Indigenous communities are reliant upon the ability of communities to educate young people. Some of the boys
are also from communities where their safety and the ability to enjoy a safe and happy childhood are compromised. The College has
responded to requests from the community to provide boys with an educational home where they are safe, challenged and supported in
acquiring leadership skills that they can put into place within their community. Brett’s role as a mentor will facilitate such outcomes as well
as assist remote students in making the transition to life in Ballarat – quite a contrast from Bathurst Island in July!
Whilst the College has assisted Indigenous students in achieving optimal educational outcomes, including one student, Jidah Clark taking
up a place in Law at the University of Melbourne in 2006, the investment in programmes and resources, in particular the appointment
of Brett, is designed to redress inequities in key indicators such as educational outcomes, life expectancy and community health. In so
doing it is hoped that our boys, Indigenous and Non Indigenous will show leadership in working together towards a common goal – that
all Australians will enjoy equality of opportunity.
Mark Waddington - Development Manager, St. Patrick’s College
Photo: Brett and Year 12 Timber Creek student Dwayne Hector discussing the mural which is a feature of the College’s Indigenous Space.
The Diocesan website provides information, news
and resources regarding the life of the Diocese.
Members of the Diocese can register for use of the
Diocesan Network. Parishes can develop their own
The Diocese also publishes an E-News every two
weeks and you can subscribe to the Diocesan ENews from the website.
The current issue and archived copies of Our
Diocesan Community can be read online on the
website. Each week also brings a reflection on the
Sunday Gospel.
Go to www.ballarat.catholic.org.au.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
From Darren Atkinson, newly
appointed Principal of St. Joseph’s
College, Mildura (seen second from
the right with Bishop Connors, priests
and servers of the Mildura area.)
This year signalled the beginning of a new era for St Joseph’s
College after 102 years of leadership by a Sister of Mercy.
Sr Sylvia Williams RSM has completed a distinguished term
of service as Principal and has retired after over 30 years
of service as Principal in Catholic schools in Victoria. Lay
Principals lead in all but one of the Mercy secondary schools
in Victoria and this reflects both the changing face of Mercy
Education and the decision to put precious Mercy resources
into the areas of greatest need. It is both an honour and a
great responsibility to be asked to lead our community and I
returned to commence this academic year with those same
nervous butterflies as our Year 7s!
On Tuesday March 3rd we celebrated our Opening Mass and
it was a very special occasion. We were fortunate to have
Bishop Peter Connors to lead our gathering and our Parish
Priest, Fr Tom Brophy and Frs Matt, Paul and Pat assisted.
Among our special guests were Sr Kath Tierney RSM,
Congregation Leader; Patricia Ryan, MSEI Chairperson; Bill
Slatter, Catholic Education Office and Srs Madeline, Marion,
Rosemary and Patricia.
In my response to our gathering, I was able to talk to the students
about what it means to be a leader. Catherine McAuley, the
foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, modelled her life of service on
the example of Jesus. She asks the Sisters who have followed
to do likewise. As leaders at St Josephs College, we need
look no further than these Sisters and our mission statement
to understand what it means to lead in our community. We are
asked to demonstrate:
SPIRITUALITY: we should nurture in the individual and the
community a sense of being connected to God.
Compassion: we must create a place of hope and love and
compassionately seek to empathise with and respond to others
in a spirit of mercy.
Justice: we must promote justice, opportunity and equity
through the awareness of the rights and responsibilities of all.
Excellence: we need to encourage and celebrate the
development of excellence within the College community.
At our Opening Mass we celebrate our leaders, as well as
welcoming the students new to the College. I was very
impressed with the way our College Leadership Teams
approached the Bishop to collect their badges and then made
their pledge to serve our community. Sr Kath addressed
our gathering on the richness of our Mercy heritage and Ms
Ryan commissioned me as the new Principal. It was a great
Hospitality: hospitality is experienced by creating a welcoming
and friendly environment.
Community: community means belonging, respect, support
and commitment as partnerships develop.
Service: service means seeking and providing a Mercy mission
within and beyond the St Joseph’s College community.
occasion and reinforced the importance of keeping the Mercy
story alive and flourishing as we commence an era of lay
If we all work collectively towards the same goal, to make St
Joseph’s College a place where all feel welcome to develop our
rich talents, each individual will be able to play their part and our
collective success is assured.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Leading by Example
For the past months the parishioners of St Columba’s in Ballarat North have been travelling the journey to Easter with Craig Schepis.
At Easter Craig will be welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Craig is a passionate person. He believes in community building and developing social conscience. In 2008 he was Ballarat’s Citizen
of the Year. He was also nominated for Victorian of the Year because he has seen an area of real need in our community and worked
with and inspired people to help him address this need.
In 2007 Craig and Walter Collins spent a night on Ballarat’s
streets, filming a documentary that highlighted the plight of
Ballarat’s homeless people. It was titled “One Month Before
Christmas” and was shown on pay TV. In this documentary Craig
actually lived on the street to give viewers a first hand account
of what it was like. An adapted version of this is shown at both
primary and secondary schools to open up the discussion on this
hidden social problem. In successive years, two more videos have
followed. This year’s video explored the causes of homelessness
in our youth and highlighted domestic violence.
Part of the secondary program is a night sleeping out. With
support, the participating youth organise this event. A few weeks
ago, after a night of homelessness, one school separated the
students who participated from those that did not and ran a
modified program for them. They were too tired to learn. This is
itself a learning. How can a person living on the street possibly
concentrate and complete schooling? It takes a highly motivated
young person to do that and most homeless youth have had that
level of motivation destroyed.
Photo: Courtesy of “The Ballarat Courier”
Craig has initiated a community bus to provide food and support for Ballarat’s homeless. This is manned by volunteers. Many of the
youth that come to the bus need a bowl of soup and a listening ear to support and direct them to make the best decisions for their
wellbeing and future. Restaurants in Ballarat help cater. On the sleepover night, two enormous pots of the best pumpkin soup ever,
fed the youth. What was left over went to a breakfast program. After the Bushfires the bus was moved to Whittlesea to offer practical
support to the volunteers.
Craig has a deep belief in the need of all the community to support the most vulnerable. He believes that everyone really wants to reach
out and be active in community development but some people do not know how to do this. It is just a case of matching one with the
other. There is a real sense of achievement and satisfaction when you make a difference in the life of another person.
Craig has worked with sporting clubs, inviting their athletes to mentor and support youth at risk. He told of the absolute thrill when
something you take for granted is first experienced by another. He spoke of one footballer travelling with his young friend on a day trip
to Melbourne and the excitement of the young boy in driving over Westgate and seeing Melbourne spread out before him for the first
time. The athlete was just as enthused and for him it became a life enhancing moment. In elite sport the focus is on the individual and
on winning. The development of a social conscience is life giving and life changing. He regularly and passionately speaks about the
needs of the homeless to raise funds to support these people. Last week the local cinema approached him to show the latest video
as a fundraiser and as a community information evening. Two hundred people
According to Craig, what he does is not “rocket science”. “As a leader you have
to be passionate, to keep in mind the big picture, and work on making the small
steps achievable for all the people involved. It is about keeping people involved,
motivated and focused. It is about the journey being a time of learning, too,”
he said. “The community has to take a step up. The welfare dollar is becoming
less and less. Welfare organisations need to work more closely together. Each
member of the community needs to support the most vulnerable. It is the youth
who are our future.”
Craig turned forty last year. He runs his own successful business. He still
competes in Ironman competitions, more now, for the personal growth on the
journey and helping the young competitors than for winning. He is married with
two beautiful daughters.
Early last year he decided to become a member of the Catholic faith. His wife
and daughters are Catholic. After the death of a close friend Craig knew that
his faith commitment was with the St Columba’s community and he joined the
RCIA program. His work with the homeless youth of Ballarat, Craig sees as
part of walking in the footsteps of Jesus, who spoke of the most vulnerable in
society and invited his followers to reach out to those in need. Craig continues
to do that and invites the community of Ballarat and beyond to join him.
Fiona Tonkin
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Craig (second from left) with Peter Marquand (sponsor),
Bishop Connors and Sr. Margaret Mary Brown (St. Columba’s Parish) at the Rite of Election.
New College Leadership Structure
2009 saw the commencement of a new leadership structure at Mercy Regional College, Camperdown, which focuses on learning and
Our current Director of Learning and Teaching, Lisa Pope, now has the support of a Head of Learning and Teaching for the Junior School
(Year 7 & 8), Middle School (Year 9 & 10) and Senior School (Year 11 & 12). These three new leadership positions within the College
replace the existing structure of Heads of Faculty. The Heads of Learning and Teacher lead Professional Learning Teams (PLT). These
PLT are an effective means of developing a culture of collaboration and collective responsibility in schools. In the PLT our teachers remain
accountable for individual students, however, they also take responsibility collectively for improving instructional practices to achieve
gains in learning for all their students.
The Mercy Regional College PLT focus will be student centred
and be aimed at maximising student outcomes. Teachers will be
encouraged to engage directly with the subject matter, identify
key learning outcomes and discuss effective pedagogical
strategies that support the learning.
Mercy Regional College is delighted to announce that our new
Heads of Learning and Teaching for 2009 are: Mrs Leanne
Carpenter (Head of Learning & Teaching – Junior School);
Mr Wayne Walsh (Head of Learning & Teaching – Middle
School); Mr Lachie Lee (Head of Learning & Teaching – Senior
Andrew Watson - Principal
L - R: Leanne Carpenter, Wayne Walsh, Principal Dr Andrew Watson,
Director of Learning and Teaching Ms Lisa Pope and Lachie Lee.
Expressions of Interest for Lease of Convent
Until recently the Convent, (previously known as the Good Samaritan
Centre) located at Coragulac in the Victorian Western District and part of the
Parish of Cororooke, was occupied by the Good Samaritan Sisters for 85
years. This magnificent two-storey brick building is now available for lease.
The two-storey brick building is part of the Parish of Cororooke complex at
Coragulac. Coragulac, a small rural township, is situated 11 kilometers from
Colac. The building is located in a rural setting, set on lovely treed grounds,
with a fernery area and an orchard. The property adjoins St Brendan’s
Primary School, Playgroup Centre, Alvie Kindergarten and Parish House.
The site has been operated by the Good Samaritan Sisters. Until the early
1970’s it was a boarding school for secondary students and after the closure
of the Boarding School, it continued to be residence for members of the
Order. During the 1980’s the Good Samaritan Centre was developed, being
used to hold various community and spiritual activities, including retreats
and weekend workshops, a meeting place for the local patchwork group,
cooking and craft activities, health and wellbeing sessions. The Centre has
also been used as a conference venue.
Downstairs, the building has a large kitchen, large lounge room and several smaller
sitting rooms, laundry and bathrooms, boarders’ dining room, private dining room and
chapel. Upstairs is an area previously used as an office, 14 small bedrooms, 2 large
rooms previously used as boarders’ dormitories, and bathrooms. The building has been
well maintained and is carpeted throughout.
Interested parties can contact members of the Option Group:
Lucy Darcy: ph. 5233 1228 or Veronica Roache: ph. 5235 1228; mobile: 0417 538822.
Expressions of Interest, marked “Coragulac Convent EOI” should be forwarded to:
Options Group, PO Box 27, Cororooke 3254 by FRIDAY, MAY 8 , 2009.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
A Blessed and Challenging Experience
2008 was a year of extraordinary growth in the Hamilton parish of St Mary’s. It was my privilege and delight to witness much of this
growth, from the perspective of both a parishioner and a pastoral care giver.
Early in the year, I accepted an invitation from our parish priest, Fr Patrick Mugavin, to be a “pastoral care person” in our catholic primary
school.Fr Paddy recognised the need and also the readiness amongst many of our school families for spiritual care and nurturing. Whilst
I am primarily based at the school during my working hours, my role is directed more towards care of the parents of our children rather
than the children themselves. On occasion, it has been my privilege to visit parents in their homes to provide pastoral support in times
of need. Setting up a parent resource library, welcoming new families to the school and organising a series of prep morning teas, were
some of the areas I was able to make a meaningful contribution to.
A highlight of my work has been the formation of an adult faith/spirituality group. The group began just after Easter last year. Many of the
participants had been part of a fruitful Lenten group and welcomed the opportunity to continue the exploration of their faith and spirituality.
Weekly prayer, reflection and discussion led us to a place that none of us could have imagined! Our gatherings were (and continue to
be) filled with grace and there can be no doubting that it was God’s Spirit breathing Life into the group. Trust grew and friendships formed
and strengthened. We carried one another through moments of doubt, questioning and difficulty with great care and non judgement.
We celebrated life with one another, blessed each other, laughed (a lot) and cried too. There were extraordinary moments of unity and
understanding and we knew it was all pure gift.
Towards the end of the year, we were blessed to share a retreat experience in Port Fairy. Sr Margaret Carmody who, in her role as Parish
Associate, is a very rich addition to our St Mary’s parish community facilitated this. With her expertise and gentleness, Sr Marg assisted
us to journey to even greater depths than we had previously travelled as a group. The fun-filled, relaxing and very moving weekend
exceeded all our expectations!
Another area of growth which I have had the joy of being a part of is a weekly meditation group. Fr Paddy introduced Christian meditation
to our school community several years ago. I took part in the weekly gatherings and discovered an immense richness in this form of
prayer. It seemed only natural then, to want to share this with others. Again, with guidance, support and encouragement from Fr Paddy, a
meditation group was advertised and formed. We began with only two or three people and slowly became six. Whilst the gatherings were
generally small in terms of numbers, God’s Spirit was strongly palpable.
My first year as a pastoral care person has been full of challenge, excitement, joy, amazement, grace and blessing! The personal rewards
have been immense. Perceptive parish leadership, a life-giving faith community and the outpouring of grace from a generous God, have
formed very fertile soil from which to grow in our St Mary’s parish. May we keep on saying YES to God’s awesome presence amongst us
and continue to reap the rich harvest which is ours to enjoy!
Colleen Johnson
BALLARAT (CDF) is an integral source of income for the
pastoral services offered by the Church across the Diocese.
The CDF allocates half of its annual operating surplus to
the Diocese for pastoral and welfare work. In addition, the
CDF also provides funding for accommodation for retired
priests. The CDF enables your investment to combine with
those of other parishioners and catholic agencies and assist
the Diocese through loans to parishes, schools and other
diocesan entities.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
For more information please contact:
Catholic Development Fund
‘Free Post’ PO Box 576, Ballarat 3353
Phone: 1800 134 100
Email: [email protected]
Celebrating Years of Service
70 Years of Religious Profession
60 Years of Religious Profession
Sr. Mary of Mercy RSM
Sr. Marie Dominic Foley RSJ
The Sisters of Mercy, Ballarat East gathered on Sunday, March
1 to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee – 70 years - of Religious
Profession of Sr. Mary of Mercy. Bishop Connors was the
celebrant for the Jubilee Mass which was followed by a luncheon
with Sisters and friends.
Sister Dominic Foley celebrated her Diamond Jubilee of
Religious Profession on March 1. Ballarat born, Sister joined the
Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph in January 1946. After
her novitiate training in Sydney, she was professed as a Sister
of St Joseph in the Mother House Chapel – Mary MacKillop
Place in North Sydney – on January 6, 1949. She then returned
to Victoria and began her teaching ministry. She calls herself
the “Happy Wanderer”, for her nomadic teaching years took
her to country and city schools in every Diocese in Victoria as
teacher and Principal over a period of 31 years.
In 1981 her ministry brought her to Ballarat where she spent
three years at the Catholic Education Office and finally in 1984
she commenced at Australian Catholic University – Aquinas
Campus, where she had ten happy and memorable years with
students and staff. This completed her involvement in the whole
cycle of Catholic Education – from class teaching to teacher
administration, to teacher training – so satisfying, grace-filled
and personally fulfilling.
Born in 1914, Sr. Mercy entered the Convent of Mercy, Ballarat
East on July 2, 1937 and was professed as a Sister of Mercy on
February 23, 1939. During her religious life, Sr. Mercy taught for
many years in the Junior School of Sacred Heart College and cared
for the juniors in the Boarding School. She was also Principal of
St. James’ Primary School, Sebastopol. At the conclusion of her
teaching career, Sr. Mercy lived in both the parishes of Mortlake
and Donald for a number of years and was greatly loved and
respected as a member of both local communities.
In 1994 Sr Dominic semi-retired and began pastoral visitation in
Ballarat. Belonging to the Cathedral Parish is a joy for her, as
she enjoys coffee and friendship with parishioners after midday
Mass and is able to participate in the liturgical life of the place
where she was baptised and confirmed. 2009 is proving to be a
SPECIAL year of joy and thanks to God, to her religious sisters,
her family and friends, as she celebrates the Diamond Jubilee
– 60 faithful years – of her Religious Profession. May she be
blessed to continue God’s work with joy, dignity and prayer for
the time ahead.
In responding to her Jubilee celebrations, Sr. Mercy reminisced
on her own schooldays at Sacred Heart College and on her life
as a Sister of Mercy. She said, “Firstly, the sisters taught and
loved me. Later, in community the Sisters shared their friendship,
support and Mercy spirit. Over the years I soaked up Mercy, it was
all around me and my life became centred in Mercy. The older I
get the more I can see God’s plan leading me. I praise Him for His
loving gifts and thank Him for His care of me. I also thank each
of you present with me today and the endless number I have met
along the way who have touched my life. My heart beats faster
when I think of the wonder of it all. “Thank you” does not seem to
do justice to what I want to say. Maybe rather, “Alleluia! Alleluia!
Photo: Sr. Mercy (left) with Sr. M. Monica (Donald)
Sister Dominic with Bishops Peter Connors and Ronald Mulkearns
We make a living by what we get and we make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
On Tuesday, March 24, the Most Rev. Peter J. Connors, D.D., D.C.L. Bishop of Ballarat, gathered with the entire student and staff
community of Damascus College Ballarat along with invited guests, parents, Sisters of Mercy and members of the College Board for
the blessing of the newly constructed MERCY WING and the refurbished ST. MARTIN’S RESOURCE CENTRE and SACRED HEART
WING. This project at the College’s Mt Clear Campus includes a new administration building, refurbished library, classrooms and a food
technology facility. The $4.7m project which is Stage One of the Damascus College Ballarat ‘One Campus’ project, was funded by the
Commonwealth Capital Grants program and through the generosity of the Damascus College Ballarat community. It was officially opened
by Ms Catherine King MP, Federal Member for Ballarat.
Now in its 15th year, Damascus College was born of an amalgamation of
Catholic Secondary schools in Ballarat East. But Damascus College’s roots date
back into the late 1800s. A group of the Sisters of Mercy came from Ireland,
via Warrnambool, and founded Sacred Heart College. By the late 1960s Sacred
Heart College had developed a separate senior campus at Mt Clear, St Martin’s
in the Pines. St Martin’s, now the Mt Clear Campus of Damascus College, had
become a co-educational college by 1990. To serve a post-WWII need, technical
education for Catholic boys, the then Catholic Bishop of Ballarat, James O’Collins,
founded St Paul’s Technical College with the Catholic Parishes of Ballarat.
Damascus College Ballarat currently has two campuses, at Victoria Street,
Ballarat East and Geelong Road, Mt Clear. Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 are now
located at Mt. Clear and Ballarat East is the Year 7 and 8 campus. It is planned
to merge the two sites completely on the Mt. Clear campus by either 2011 or
2012. Damascus College Principal, Mr. Tony Duggan, said the opening marked
a “very significant point” in amalgamating the College’s two campuses. “The new
facilities are truly magnificent for both students and staff,” Mr. Duggan said.
Through many processes of consultation with key stakeholders, a plan for the
development of Damascus College Ballarat as a one campus co-educational
school is coming to fruition. This plan is directed by renewed Vision and Mission
statements and as well as the blessing and opening of the buildings, this occasion
also provided the opportunity to launch the Damascus College Ballarat Strategic
Plan 2009 – 2015 and the new College Mission and Vision Statement.
The community of Damascus College, students, staff, parents and supporters are
delighted with this further step in the development and life of the College.
Tony Duggan, Bishop Connors, College Captains Kaitlyn
Cooper and Matthew Willis at the Mercy Administration Wing.
Following the Opening the whole school gathered for a photo to mark the occassion.
This is the first time that Damascus College have had a whole school photograph taken
in the fourteen years since the foundation of the College.
L-R: Mr. Larry Burn - Director Catholic Education Ballarat; Mr. Paul Jans - Business Manager Damascus College; Bishop Peter Connors, Mr. Tony Duggan
- Principal Damascus College, Sr. Veronica Lawson RSM – Co-governor Damascus College, Mr. Graeme Law – Architect, Mrs. Maureen Macphail – Chair
Damascus College Board, Ms. Sandy Law – Architect, Mr. Dean Stevens – Nicholson Builders, Fr. Adrian McInerney – Co-governor.
Crucifixes were blessed and placed in the rooms of the College, as will be copies of the new Vision and Mission statement.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Youth Evangelising!
Last Year, the Cathedral parish sponsored Darcy de Losa - a young
adult from the Parish, to join the NET (National Evangelisation Team)
after she attended World Youth Day. Recently, Fr. Justin Driscoll
received the following update from Darcy regarding her experience
since leaving Ballarat in August 2008.
Hi from Ireland. I’ve been here with NET since October and I keep meaning to
let you all know how its been going. When I left Australia in August, I headed
to Ottawa for six weeks of training in Canada. After two weeks, the seventy
young people in the group were formed into eight teams for work in Canada
(six teams) and in Ireland (two teams). I became part of the Irish travelling
team with nine other young people. It was pretty challenging, but so much
fun getting to know five Canadians, two Americans, and two Irish over the
next six months. We finished our training in October and then headed over to
Ireland where we have been travelling the country doing retreats in secondary
schools. It has really been the best experience of my life.
A typical week will see us travelling on a Saturday, spending time with the
team on a Sunday and working on Retreats from Monday to Friday. A retreat
will begin at around 9-ish with icebreakers, games and skits... fun stuff... then
we move into the main part of the day with talks, drama, personal sharing and
discussion groups. Throughout the day we keep the focus on the faith but
also ensure that it doesn’t get too heavy, because as young people, we don’t
really like the doom and gloom that somehow accompanies religion at times.
Towards the end of the day we move into a prayer time.
I was on a retreat today for
Year Seven’s and it was so
lovely chatting to them and
hearing their take on God and
life in general. It never fails
to amaze me, the openness
of the teens towards hearing
about God, and it is so
beautiful. It is so good to be in
the one school for a few days
and hear of the changes that
have taken place in the lives
of the young people you are
meeting with. I love it, frankly.
Sometimes you have your
days when you really feel
you have given all you have
to give, but I really wouldn’t
change being here for a
minute. I think one of the most
powerful things about our ministry is that it is very relatable. Seven out of the
ten people on our team are under twenty years in age and the other three are
twenty-two and twenty-four. Even though we do get into some pretty cool but
tough stuff, we try to keep it pretty light with games and skits, because we are
all young and we do love to have fun. That was definitely one of the biggest
things I took from WYD, the fact that the church was young and alive and for
the youth. Being able to share that vision with teens is honestly a one in a
million chance.
My time here isn’t totally spent in ministry. I really love the Irish people, culture
and country. The people are so generous. A lot of the time we will be in
host homes where we stay with a family and the generosity with which they
welcome you into their homes and make you part of the family is just so nice.
For the first six months after our drought, I couldn’t get enough of the rain and
the green, but I haven’t seen any leprechauns so I am a little disappointed in
that regard.
Sorry if this is a little rambling, but hopefully you have now have a little more of
an idea as to what us ‘netters’ do. I am really looking forward to getting home
and maybe put some of the skills I have learnt to good use around the parish.
Please keep me and all the other ‘netters’ in your prayers.
The Catholic Church in Australia is to embark
on its first ever National E-Conference this year,
with parishes and Church groups encouraged
to gather on Tuesday June 30 to take part in
the innovative conference on St Paul. The
Year of St Paul National E-Conference is
entitled, “Paul - The Man, the Mission and
Message for Today: igniting his purpose and
passion” and is an initiative of the Broken Bay
Institute and the Australian Catholic Bishops
The Conference will be hosted by television
identity Mike Bailey and will feature sessions
from world renowned Scripture scholars,
Brendan Byrne SJ, Michele Connolly RSJ
and film, media and communication scholar,
Richard Leonard SJ. These sessions will be
webcast live to sites across the nation, and
will be interspersed with opportunities for local
gatherings to discuss the sessions with the
guidance of a trained facilitator.
Bishop David Walker, a member of the Bishops
Commission for Mission and Faith Formation,
said the format of the day would be a first for the
Church in Australia. “Every parish in Australia
will have the opportunity to get involved, either
by hosting a webcast site themselves or by
joining with another group nearby,” Bishop
Walker said. “This is a wonderful opportunity
for people from Broome to Broken Bay to be
able to join in this very exciting program of
world class speakers. It is a fitting way to mark
the end of the Year of St Paul in the Church
and we feel it is an initiative of which St Paul,
the great Gospel communicator would surely
have been proud.”
The Director of the Broken Bay Institute, Dr
Gerard Goldman said it was easy for parishes
and groups to get involved. “Essentially, all that
is needed for local communities to get involved
is a broadband Internet connection, a projector
and a screen,” he said. There will be no cost to
those who take part in the E-Conference.”
The Diocese of Ballarat has registered for the
Conference and hopes to host the Conference
in several centres around the Diocese. Any
parish interested in participating is invited to
contact Sr. Anne McMillan ph: 5337 7179 or
email: [email protected]
For more information on the Conference go to:
God bless - Darcy De Losa
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
excellence in restoration
Congratulations to the Immaculate Conception Parish, Ararat and the project
team of Johns Lyng Group (Builders) who were responsible for the rebuilding
of The Church of Immaculate Conception in Ararat! The work of the Johns
Lyng Group has been recognised in the winning of a Highest Commendation
Award with the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Building (AIB)
and a National AIB Excellence Award. Damaged by severe fire in April 2007, the Church of Immaculate Conception in Ararat has been
authentically restored to its former beauty by the construction team at Johns Lyng Group, along with the valuable assistance of Parish
Priest Father Brendan Davey, parish coordinator Tom Rees and a Parish Restoration Committee.
The restoration of the 100 year old local icon proved to be a difficult task, involving the sourcing of materials from overseas and the unique
manufacture of all mouldings by hand. The ornate detail of the finishes and stylized structure of the bluestone church included a domed
cathedral ceiling, restoration of the original leadlight glass and a hand carved marble altar. (Restoration work on the Altar was carried out
by Hallett Stonemasons.)
Right from the time of clean up, a great spirit was born on site. All the different parties banded together to assist the church community.
In the early stage there was the local CFA, the Insurance Company and Loss Assessor, the Restorer and of course the Builder all
working together with Tom Rees the Church Coordinator and Father Brendan Davey, the Parish Priest. “A restoration committee was
formed as a result of a Parish mini assembly who were responsible for a lot of the early decision making. This formed a ring of people
for the parishioners to go to that were honest, straight forward and helpful for the duration of the project.” said Tom Rees - Parish Church
As the church community was dealing with grief, the whole experience was a talking, sharing and consoling process and all on site needed
to be open and caring to the needs of the community, who were present daily at the site throughout the project. Quickly a family group
formed with every party involved understanding they were restoring something precious that was deeply engrained in the community,
where people and their parents and grandparents were baptised, married and buried from. People came to the church regularly for the
practice of their faith. Could it be restored to its former self? Each had their significant role to play and all were respected and appreciated
for their efforts.
Throughout the project it was critical that working relationships
between all parties, adopted open communication, respect
and full consideration for the working environment. All on site
were not simply there to perform their usual role of Plasterer
or Project Manager, they were also there as “Someone to lean
on, put your arm around and move forward with confidence and
determination” said Tom Rees.
“Everybody just trusted each other so much and all were
sincerely passionate about what they were doing.” Father
Brendan said. The restored Church is a tribute to all involved.
L to R:
Marita Wright: Catholic Church Insurance (CCI), Mike Donnelly:
Crawford & Co, David Cameron: Johns Lyng Group, Don McKie:
Johns Lyng Group, Father Brendan Davey, Tom Rees: Ararat Parish,
Karl Arena: CCI, Christie Downs:Johns Lyng Group, Peter Alford:
CCI, Marc Gibson: Crawford & Co.
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
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Brothers and sisters in faith, who are listening to me from every part of the world! Christ
is risen and he is alive among us. It is he who is the hope of a better future. As we say
with Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”, may we hear again in our hearts the beautiful
yet demanding words of the Lord: “If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I
am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him” (Jn
12:26). United to him and ready to offer our lives (cf. 1 Jn 3:16), let us become apostles of
peace, messengers of a joy that does not fear pain – the joy of the Resurrection. May Mary,
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Pope Benedict XVI - Easter Message 2007
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
“Every year the Year 12 Student Leaders of Emmanuel College create a
theme that reflects the values that are important to our College and will
help our community to prosper. Our theme for 2009 was inspired by the
name of a video game console. Using the acronym Wii, we developed
the theme, ‘We Inspire Involvement.’ We call on our community to reject
a false, virtual world where we don’t relate to each other. We aspire to
embrace differences and respect diversity. We challenge you to live a
real life in which you grasp all of the opportunities for participation –
opportunities that build school and community spirit.”
With these words the Captains of Emmanuel College Warrnambool,
Gemma Gray and James Grant, began the College Opening Mass for 2009,
held at St Pius X Church. At Emmanuel College we have put in place an
excellent program for leadership development amongst our students with
activities which assist in transition for new students, running workshops
in the primary schools, taking some responsibility for organisation and
running of major events and leading community based student programs. We also have high expectations of our leaders in terms of the
roles we require. They are examples to all other students within the College and are often our public image to the wider community. We
call upon them to represent us on public occasions as well as to be a link between administration and students at school.
These leaders are elected through a rigorous process and, whilst there is some variation from year level to year level depending on the
age group of the students, the election processes all have similarities. There is a formal forum on leadership conducted during the third
term Personal Development Day for all students in all year levels – with the exception of the current Year 12. Students are nominated from
the full year level list through an initial voting procedure including all students from the year level and staff. Potential candidates are shortlisted from this original nomination process and all potential candidates are given the opportunity to demonstrate an act of commitment
to the process through a presentation in some form to their peers.
At Year 12 level there are opportunities for the identified group of leaders to attend a workshop or series of workshops with some
members of the College Leadership Team and Year 12 Coordinators and at the conclusion of this meeting a further ballot is taken based
on input from the group. All those in attendance vote. A final group (between 10 and 16) are appointed as College Leaders. This group
reconvenes for further workshopping with some members of the leadership team and Year 12 coordination staff. They identify themes,
goals, actions for the ensuing year and the attributes required for success. At the conclusion of these workshops an election for College
Captains and Vice Captains is held with all in attendance voting. The Principal appoints the College Captains and announces their names
to the community by end of the school year.
The leaders this year have already shown themselves to be hard working and diligent and they deserve credit for the way they have gone
about their tasks, not only in building their theme for the year, but in developing a set of goals that will be promoted and put into action
throughout the year. They have contributed to the general wellbeing of the school community through the traumatic beginning to 2009
with Black Saturday and will lead the student body with enthusiasm and diligence.
Rodger Punch has been appointed the Religious Education/Faith Development Coordinator at
Emmanuel College. Rodger grew up in the Mallee near Swan Hill and was educated at: Ultima
State School; Assumption College Kilmore; St Francis Xavier Seminary (Adelaide) and Deakin
University (B Ed). Rodger also completed seven years full-time in the study of Philosophy,
Theology & Scripture whilst in Adelaide.
Rodger first taught at Emmanuel College in 1991, (the first year of amalgamation), until 1994,
leaving to supervise at the boarding house and teach at Assumption College Kilmore, then to to
Monivae College Hamilton, where he was Religious Education Coordinator. Rodger came back
to Warrnambool in 2002 primarily for family reasons, but he was also keen to resume teaching
at Emmanuel. Over the years Rodger has taught Religious Education, English, Drama, Medieval
History, Australian History and Geography.
A member of St Joseph’s Parish Warrnambool and of the Parish Liturgy Committee and St
Joseph Singers choir, Rodger’s interests also include music, motorcycles, theology, philosophy
and following the Richmond Football Club. Emmanuel College is a family affair for the Punch
family. Rodger is married to Catherine, who is an Integration Aide at Emmanuel College and they
have son, Michael, who is in Year 11.
This year Rodger returns to the role of Religious Education Coordinator at Emmanuel – a role he previously held in the 1990’s. “What I
like best about Emmanuel College is the very friendly and supportive staff and co-operative students who are keen to learn about life as
well as gain a fine education,” said Rodger. “What we do best as a College is provide a well rounded education, attending to the whole
person - mind, body and spirit in the long-standing Catholic tradition. In the role of Religious Education Coordinator I aim to continue
development of new curriculum, to contribute to students and staff members developing a deepening awareness of the passionate love
of God for all and to enhance a practical sense of justice in an unfair world.”
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009
Farewell to the
Josephite Sisters
The Last Word
Several centuries before Jesus Christ was born into our world,
the prophet Jeremiah attributed these words to God: “I will give
you shepherds after my own heart”. It was an assurance that
God’s people would never be left without a shepherd.
It is not surprising that the role of the Good Shepherd is often
claimed by Jesus himself or is attributed to him. He was faithful
to the mission entrusted to him; he was serene in his dedication
and he exhibited joy in leading and he was glad in gathering
people into unity.
In our Diocese of Ballarat the model of Jesus, the Good
Shepherd, is lived out in all our communities whether it be
local church, the parish school or the family with a new born
child. The Pastoral Staff carried by the Bishop symbolises and
celebrates the presence among us of Him who offered his life
for his flock and came not be served but to serve.
At the commencement of Holy Week at the Mass of the Oils, the
bishop, priests, religious and all of Christ’s faithful renew their
commitment to the task of being leaders in the style of Jesus
Christ. We are called to be good and responsible shepherds.
Throughout 2009 we shall have many opportunities to show
practical concern for those who are dispirited and bewildered,
to be courageous in giving witness to our faith in God by our
compassion and our willingness to forgive. We will strive to
build up and nourish the communities to which we belong by
the constant giving of ourselves in the service of others.
That is the kind of leadership that Jesus taught and required of
his first disciples. He asks the same of all of us.
+ Peter J. Connors
On Friday, March 20th,
the community of St
Mary’s Parish, Swan
Kathleen McSweeney
RSJ. After twelve years
of pastoral work in the
parish and MacKillop
Kathleen leaves Swan
Hill take up ministry in the Josephite Mission in
Kununurra. As the Congregation have no other
Sister to send to Swan Hill this ends 86 years of
Josephite Sisters in Swan Hill.
A special edition of the Parish Magazine “The
Marian” has been printed for this occasion,
tracing the history of the Josephite mission
in our Parish, and in particular Sr Kathleen’s
contribution to School life as a counsellor and to
our Parish as friend, pastoral carer and formator
of persons in spiritual and prayer life.
Sr Kathleen and the one hundred and nine
Sisters before her have followed the example
of their Foundress, Blessed Mary MacKillop,
to “never see a need without doing something
about it”. Much they did was obvious and we
thank them for that, but in true Mary MacKillop
tradition they were “faithful in the least as well as
the greatest”.
Swan Hill Parish offered its thanks to all the
Josephite Sisters with a Mass of Thanksgiving
on Sunday March 22nd and honoured the
Sisters present with lunch in the Parish Centre
If your actions inspire others to dream more,
learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
John Quincy Adams
Our Diocesan Community - April 2009