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News & Events

SOcial Justice Statement 23 24 250In 1967, Australians gave overwhelming support to a referendum that recognised Australia’s First Peoples as citizens. In 2023, we will be given a chance to vote in another referendum to constitutionally recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples through a Voice to Parliament, writes the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

Australia’s Bishops see it as an opportunity for all Australians to renew our engagement with the First Peoples of Australia. They have come to this view through much listening to the First Peoples and they encourage us all to listen to them in a spirit of love and humility.

Manh Le at Vietnamese youth retreat giving presentation 250A group of 50 young adults from Sydney’s Vietnamese community came together recently for a retreat where they explored the theme: “Me, Myself and God”.

It’s the 74th year that the retreat has been held and the guest speaker was Fr Manh Le SVD, a Vietnamese Australian priest currently ministering with the Indigenous community of Palm Island, off the coast of Townsville.

Fr Asaeli Rass SVD profile pic 250Australia’s Catholic bishops have called on the nation to seek “a new engagement” with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their annual Social Justice Statement launched this month.

As we approach the referendum on constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Nations peoples and the establishment of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, the bishops’ statement encourages us to listen, really listen, to what our Indigenous brothers and sisters are saying.

Palm Sunday 2023 Niran Bp Charles Hung 250When Fr Niran Veigas SVD answered his vocational call to become a missionary priest, he could not have foreseen himself ministering in Russia and now the Tiwi Islands, but the Indian-born priest is embracing the new challenge of getting to know the people and helping to make a difference in their lives.

Fr Niran was born and raised in a Catholic family in the city of Mangalore, in southwest India and says he began discerning the possibility of being a priest as a young boy.

Fr Steve Bevans SVD NT retreat 2023 250Theologian and Missiologist Fr Stephen Bevans SVD returned to Australia recently to give a range of presentations on the role of mission in meeting the needs of the world today.

Fr Stephen, who is the Emeritus Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD Professor of Mission and Culture at Chicago Theological Union, led the SVD annual retreats in locations around the province, delivered a presentation for Catholic Mission, and gave an online seminar for the SVD’s Mission, Education and Research initiative.

WYD2023 flags crowd 250The experience of being at Lisbon’s World Youth Day as chaplain for the North Queensland Catholic education offices pilgrim group was a gift that will be cherished for a long time for Fr Joseph Reddy SVD.

Fr Joseph, who is a parish priest in Townsville, said that being with faith-filled young people from around the world and listening to the words of Pope Francis to not be afraid and to be a welcoming Church for everyone helped nourish his own faith and send him home with refreshed spiritual vigour.

What’s the difference between a parish and a faith community in modern Australia? It’s a question worthy of consideration, writes Bishop Tim Norton SVD for the Brisbane Archdiocese.

Vatican documents around themes of ministry and community have a central focus on parish life. In Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis writes that the parish “is not an outdated institution”. For Francis, the parish is a wonderful environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. “It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach (EG 28). Curiously, this description applies very well to some of our Archdiocesan faith communities.

ASPAC JPIC Assembly 2023 group 250The SVD’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation coordinators from across the Asia Pacific region met in Bangkok recently to share their work and resolved to further step up their commitment to collaborative efforts and sharing resources across the ASPAC Zone.

Vice-Provincial for the SVD Australia Province, Fr Albano Da Costa SVD attended the meeting which was being hosted by the AUS Province in the Thailand District.

Fr Roger Schroeder SVD 250Internationally renowned theologian and missiologist Fr Roger Schroeder SVD was in Australia recently, presenting a range of workshops on interculturality and spending time with a diverse range of people in SVD ministries in Sydney, Alice Springs, the Tiwi Islands and Brisbane.

During the first half of his time in Australia, he gave two talks and a day workshop around the theme of interculturality, which has been the central theme for the SVD and SSpS since their General Chapters of 2012 and 2018, respectively.

Fr Anton Bulla SVD horizontal 250Fr Anton Bulla SVD has been remembered as a faith-filled and joy-filled person, a committed priest and missionary, both during his years in Papua New Guinea and later in his ministry of healing through the marriage tribunal in Sydney.

Fr Anton died at Marsfield on July 11, just shy of his 89th birthday. His requiem Mass was held in the St Arnold Janssen Chapel and was attended by confreres, friends and fellow members of the canon law community of which he had been an active member. Members of his family overseas were able to watch by video.

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