Faith and Life
Catholic Diocese of Wollongong
September 2013
In this Issue
Living Our Catholic Faith
Liturgy Notes Gets a New Home
Behold: Advent Program - ORDER NOW
“Kindness – Little Acts, Big Impacts”
The Journey - Catholic Radio
Valuing & Supporting Older People
Celebrating Cultural Diversity
Links and Resources
Upcoming Events
Exploring the Gospel of Luke
Pastoral Care Course
Marriage Encounter Weekend
God in the Gong
Exploring "Lumen Fidei"
National Liturgy Conference
Living Our Catholic Faith

By Darren McDowell
(Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation)

Living our Catholic Faith through involvement in our parishes and community brings many blessings. We are nourished by the support and friendship of others, we can feel energized and enthused about making a difference in the lives of those around us and as we reflect on our involvement in the light of faith can come to see God working in and through us.

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In this edition of e-news, we outline some ways in which you might like to become involved and highlight various upcoming events in which you may like to take part.

Remember to keep in touch with faith, ministry & spiritual formation through Catholic Faith & Life, and Twitter: @CFLDOW or phone Darren McDowell on 4222 2463.

Liturgy Notes Gets a New Home

By Paul Mason
(Coordinator of Liturgy)

Due to the popularity and demand for Liturgy Notes, we have now created a standalone website for Liturgy Notes so that everyone can go to the one source for up-to-date music recommendations for Mass as well as upcoming liturgy and music workshops. Look out also for the development of our new Liturgy Handbook. Check it out and make sure you bookmark

Behold: Daily Advent and Christmas Reflections - ORDER NOW!

By Daniel Hopper
(Diocesan Communications Coordinator)

Due to the overwhelming success of last year's pocket-size daily Advent and Christmas reflections book, we are delighted to announce that the Diocese of Wollongong is now taking orders forBehold – Daily Advent and Christmas Reflections 2013.

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Advent is such a busy time of year, but it is so important that we spiritually prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas. Behold contains short daily reflections from the beginning of Advent (1 December 2013) through to the Epiphany (5 January 2014) primarily for personal use. Each day contains a one-page reflection with two pages for Sundays and major feast days.

The daily reflections have been written by four religious orders that also run retreat centres in the Diocese of Wollongong. The aim is to provide reflections that are both theologically and spiritually rich (from the spiritual perspective of the religious order writing each reflection), yet accessible to the average reader. It also contains details about upcoming retreats at each of the retreat centres as a next step for readers who would like to go even deeper after the program has finished.

This year's reflection contributors include:

  • Fr Stephen Dives msc (St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park)
  • Sr Moya Hanlen olsh (Hartzer Park, Bowral)
  • Fr Paul Maunder ocd (Discalced Carmelites, Varroville)
  • Fr Aloysius Rego ocd (Discalced Carmelites, Varroville)
  • Fr Gerard Moran ocd (Discalced Carmelites, Varroville)
  • Fr Greg Homeming ocd (Discalced Carmelites, Varroville)
  • Sr Hilda Scott osb (Benedictine Abbey, Jamberoo)

Behold also features beautiful religious artworks from our rich Catholic history with enlightening “artwork spotlight” descriptions written by Fr Sean Cullen PP (Bowral).

Behold costs only $2 (incl GST) plus shipping for those outside the Diocese of Wollongong. If you live in the Diocese of Wollongong, please contact your parish or school to reserve your copy. Delivery is expected the week of 18 November 2013.

If you live outside the Diocese of Wollongong and would like to order Behold, you can download an order form below and email/mail/fax back to us or contact Jenny Raposio directly at (02) 4222 2411 or If you live outside Australia and would like to order Behold, please contact Jenny Raposio before filling out the order form so that we can advise you of the shipping costs.

“Kindness – Little Acts, Big Impacts”

By Alanna Roodenrys
(Social Recreation Coordinator – Illawarra, SVdP Society)

October is National Mental Health Month, the theme this year is “Kindness – little acts, big impacts.” This theme encompasses acts of generosity and altruism towards others; ways that encourage acceptance and appreciation of the things that others do for us. By bringing kindness into our own lives we can help to maximise our own wellbeing and that of others. This theme fits well into our Catholic ethos and challenges the stigma around mental health.

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The St Vincent de Paul Society helps break down social isolation and maintain wellbeing. The Society has supported two programs, Compeer Friends and Social Recreation in the Illawarra for many years to help alleviate some of the social stigma associated with mental health issues. The Social Recreation Program has been a Special Work of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Wollongong Diocese since 2002. We work within a recovery framework to offer positive social interactions to people in our community living with enduring mental illness.

The Social Recreation Program provides a social outlet for people who are isolated and who need support to reconnect with others and their communities. The program operates two days a week and offers bus transportation, allowing up to 34 members to enjoy activities and outings each week. This group setting allows for peer support and friendships to evolve in a safe environment. We all need people to connect with, we all need friendships, and we all need a sense of belonging. Our program helps to build confidence and a sense of self. Positive social support and friendships are essential for building resilience and maintaining wellness.

Our program has a dedicated team of volunteers who assist in encouraging participation, independence and interaction and allow people opportunities for new experiences. We are currently seeking an additional bus driver to add to our volunteer team. If you are interested please phone Alanna or Fiona on 4276 4241 or email

Join us in the Wollongong Mall for a day of information and entertainment as the mental health sector come together to celebrate World Mental Health Day, Thursday 10th October 11am-2.30pm.

The Journey - Catholic Radio on
Pulse 94.1FM

By Jude Hennessy
(Director of CCD)

Have you heard The Journey - Catholic Radio Show yet? The Journey is a weekly program produced by the Diocese of Wollongong. This week features an in-depth interview with Bruce Downes, The Catholic Guy, as well as all the regular weekly spots including our Sunday Gospel Reflection, Sr Hilda’s wisdom from Jamberoo Abbey, and great tips for living well from Trish McCarthy, Pete Gilmore and Fran and Byron Pirola on marriages.

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Listen in on Sundays from 11am-12pm and repeated on Wednesdays from 10pm-11pm on PULSE 94.1FM in the Illawarra and South Coast. You can also live stream the show at or listen to past shows any time at the diocesan website at The show explores the many "good news" stories about what those in the Church are doing all around the Diocese.

Valuing & Supporting Older People in our Parishes and Community

By Carmen Karuada
(Diocesan Aged Care Advocate)

Pastoral Care is a way of responding to the invitation of Jesus to "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34). Pastoral care is caring companionship to others. It is about responding to the emotional and spiritual needs of others in their time of need.

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As we age we can become isolated and lonely through:

  • Physical and mental decline
  • Loss of health and abilities
  • Hospitalisation
  • Move to residential care
  • Separation from family and friends

“I was sick, and you visited Me" (Matt:25:36). As a community we need to affirm and value older people as they go through these changes and challenges in their lives. By taking the time to listen to the heart of their story we enable them to find meaning in their story and their circumstances, connection with their feelings, and value and hope in their life. Through our response, we too, are offered the opportunity to grow in faith, hope and love as we are transformed by the grace of God flowing through us to those we encounter in our pastoral care ministry and in our daily lives.

The Pastoral Care Course and Community Visitors Training is an opportunity for people interested in visiting with people who are aged in nursing home or in their own homes. The training program is held one day a week for up to 8 weeks . Course topics include:

  • Pastoral care
  • Community visiting
  • Communication and listening skills
  • Grief and loss
  • Dementia
  • Spirituality and Eucharistic ministry
  • Spirituality and ageing
  • Palliative care
  • The role of a Catholiccare Volunteer

We are offering a course:
Mondays - 21 October to 9 December
9.30am - 3.30pm
St Michael’s Parish (325 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul)


"I would just like to say that the Pastoral Care training was a wonderful experience and the knowledge and skills learnt have been of great benefit to me."

“The course helped me in many ways and it was especially helpful in giving me the coping skills to deal with all kinds of people in all kinds of circumstances. The bonus of course is that these skills are also a helpful tool to everyday life. I think that the course could be of benefit to many people and I believe that having done the course they could not help but walk away a better more understanding and compassionate person". Sandra - St Mary’s Parish, Berkely

If you would like to learn about these programmes and acquire the skills and training necessary for these positions please contact: Carmen Karauda the Aged Care Advocate for the Diocese of Wollongong. Contact details are 4640 8515, mobile 0448 930 287 or email

Or contact Nicolle Anderson-Brown Community Visitors Scheme Coordinator; 4254 9342 mobile 0418 483 413 or email

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

By Kathy Richardson
(Ss Peter and Paul Parish Kiama Social Justice, Ecology and Peace Committee)

Around 150-200 people took the opportunity to explore Illawarra’s cultural diversity at a recent Cultural Diversity Event held on Saturday 24 August at St Peters and Paul (SSPP) Catholic Parish in Kiama.

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This event was jointly organised by the SSPP Parish’s Social Justice Committee and SCARF Inc (Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families), a volunteer-based organisation who assist refugees granted humanitarian visas to enter Australia and who have been settled in the Illawarra.

Outside in the warm sunshine people enjoyed tasting the Ethiopian cuisine and Iraqi sweets surrounded by coloured balloons on bamboo and coloured bunting. An Aussie afternoon tea was served by the SSPP Parents and Friends in the annexe decorated with flags from different countries made by the SSPP primary school social justice group. A father of one of the primary school students performing said, “it was great to have an event that involved the parishioners, the school children and the School’s Parents and Friends and I hope this event is organised again next year.”

Fr Chris Roberts (Parish Priest) welcomed visitors and gave a prayerful reflection on valuing and respecting cultural diversity. Mayor of Kiama, Councillor Brian Petschler gave an acknowledgement of country and shared some stories reflecting his personal commitment to cultural diversity. Sharyn Mackenzie, SCARF’s Program Coordinator and co-founder, highlighted the range of programs that SCARF provides to the diverse refugee communities it supports in the Illawarra region.

In the parish hall, people seemed enthralled listening to and watching the Burmese choir and dance group and the Togolese story dancing. The small kids loved watching the Congolese hip-hop dancing (they had seen this dancing two weeks prior when Sadok visited the two schools to demonstrate hip hop dancing). SSPP Catholic primary school students sang Australian songs in harmonious acapella.

Corpus Christi Catholic High School students sang a beautiful rendition of the “Hallelujah” song made famous by the ‘Choir of Hard Knocks’. They also demonstrated their newly acquired hip hop dancing skills! Terese Ngoy sold her African Kabedi design clothes. Judi Goodwin, a local artist, displayed her paintings of women from different cultures and donated 20% of her painting sales to SCARF.

In the parish meeting room people gathered in a large circle to listen to four people of refugee background in turn talk about their personal journeys as refugees: Bainous from Sierra Leone, Bu Meh from Kayah State, Burma, Gracia from DR Congo and De Wa from Chin State, Burma. They read stories to us from their culture, captured with beautiful illustrations in a book called ‘Traditional Tales’ published by SCARF.

Parishioners commented on the festive atmosphere of the afternoon. The Mayor’s wife, Sue Petschler said “the afternoon was inspiring.” This event was complemented by a moving liturgical powerpoint with music for Migrant and Refugee Sunday shown in Masses the same weekend.

Sharyn Mackenzie’s shared her response via this email with the Social Justice Group the day after the cultural diversity event, “Thank you so much for all the hard work you put in to make our SCARF community members feel welcome and valued yesterday. We were blessed with a beautiful day and I think all the contributors really gave their best … I felt there was a great vibe and I hope you all went home rejoicing(though exhausted!) .Thanks for giving us the opportunity to introduce some of the cultural richness of our lovely small and emerging communities from refugee backgrounds.”

Links and Resources

Here is a list of links and resources relating to Faith and Life:Read more

Website and Bishop Peter Ingham


Youth & Young Families

Liturgy & Music

Faith & Spirituality

Inclusion & Outreach


Sacraments & RCIA

Pastoral Councils & Pastoral Planning

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Contact Us

Darren McDowell
Coordinator Adult Faith Formation
(02) 4222 2463