Information Bulletin 74

July 2005

{/slide} {slide=Introduction} Dear brothers in ministry
As this is going to press I am with some of the Sydney clergy at their annual clergy retreat and later in the month I will be with some of the clergy of Broken Bay.
It is really important that each of us takes time each year to step outside our usual routines and to respond to Jesus’ invitation (indeed, command): “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31).
Besides the organised diocesan retreats, there are many possibilities at retreat centres, houses of prayer etc. where we can take time out with the Lord. It can be with a group of people, or a more solitary directed retreat.
It can be good, at least occasionally, to make an eight-day retreat (taking in a weekend as well), and I think we would all profit from a thirty-day retreat once or twice in our lives.
If you have missed out on making a retreat for some time, could I strongly recommend that you sit down with your diary right now, make some enquiries about dates and venues, and write RETREAT into five or six days of your diary.
Peter Brock, Executive Officer
{/slide} {slide=Meeting of National Commission}
The Bishops Conference in May made two new appointments to the National Commission for Clergy Life and Ministry. Mgr Ian Dempsey (Adelaide) was nominated by the Diocesan Directors of SA and NT and Sr Caroline Ryan RSM was nominated by the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes. We thank Fr Adrian Noonan and Sr Vivienne Keely CHF, as they complete their terms on the Commission.
The Commission met in Sydney in June. Among the issues discussed were the following:
* Sr Angela Ryan and Br Julian McDonald from the National Committee for Professional Standards led a discussion about Integrity in Ministry.
* There was further discussion about the proposed document to assist those dioceses which are welcoming priests from overseas.
* A new set of Draft Guidelines for the Permanent Diaconate has been prepared and was tabled for discussion.
* The Commission is hosting a gathering in September to discuss Diocesan Spirituality. Plans for this gathering were discussed and finalised.
* The Commission has decided to hold its January 2006 meeting in Perth. In consultation with Archbishop Hickey and the Perth Clergy Life and Ministry Team, a day has been set aside when the clergy of Perth (and neighbouring dioceses) will be invited to meet the members of the Commission and find out more about our work. If successful, this venture may serve as a model for future Commission meetings in other capital cities.
* Following discussion with the Bishops’ Committee for Clergy and Religious, our Commission has begun planning a gathering (for mid-May, 2006) of what we are calling “Priests in Mega-Parishes”. We are thinking of those priests who are looking after parishes with 10,000+ Catholics. How do they manage the challenges? What supports do they draw on, and what more do they need? What advice would they give to priests moving into similar parishes? Etc. Stay tuned!
{/slide} {slide=National Meeting of Diocesan Directors} Following the Commission meeting, twenty six Diocesan Directors of Clergy Life and Ministry or their representatives came from all over Australia (along with two New Zealanders) for their annual national meeting.
* In this Year of the Eucharist, the first day focused on What the Mass means to me.
* Then Fr John Usher led a discussion about clergy health and well-being.
* On the final day the participants were free to choose particular topics which they were then able to pursue together in small-group discussion.
Once again, this was a very fruitful, dynamic and enjoyable meeting. It was held at North Sydney, and we celebrated Mass at the tomb of Blessed Mary MacKillop. Your own local diocesan director will be able to give you a fuller account of the meeting.
"When the Father laughs at the Son, and the Son laughs back at the Father, that laughter gives pleasure, that pleasure gives joy, that joy gives love, that love is the Holy Spirit”.
Meister Eckhart, quoted in a homily on Trinity Sunday
As one Bishop said …
At the weekend I chalked up thirteen years as a bishop. I told my people on Sunday that, as a teenager now, I hoped I would not cause the diocesan family too many grey hairs!

… And another
“This is a quote I have rather come to enjoy … ‘It is the duty of everyone, and most particularly of the clergy, to see that the bishop enjoys peace of mind’. St Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians, as in Divine Office Vol. III, p. 620”.
{/slide} {slide=A Big Country}
Anyone interested in statistics? My Feb/March trip to SA/NT/WA and back was 12,832 kms. It took 1,217.26 litres of fuel, which cost $1,368.07. The vehicle averaged 10.54 kms/l. Petrol prices ranged from 98.5 c/l at Katherine NT to 144.5 c/l at Madura WA (averaging 112.39 cents per litre).

{/slide} {slide=Useful site} Another Useful Site
Have you ever wanted to use a part of the Prayer of the Church for a parish meeting, weekend camp, or other special event? But it takes so much time to type out all those psalms and responses! The Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate (PO Box 1407 New York NY 10009 USA) publishes each of the Hours of the breviary (free of charge) in a format ready to be downloaded and printed in booklet form. They publish material between seven and ten days in advance, and according to the Church’s universal calendar. Go to and have a look.

{/slide} {slide=Cairns Priests retreat} Cairns Priests retreat
There are two vacancies for brother priests at this year’s Cairns priests retreat, led by Abbot Placid Spearritt O.S.B., of New Norcia. The retreat is held at ‘Genazzano’, Lake Tinaroo, in the Atherton Tablelands above Cairns. Evening meal Sunday 25 September to breakfast Saturday. 1 October. For more details ( Kerry Crowley PP, Tully [07] 4068 1143 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

{/slide} Overheard …
“Good homilies are made in a crock-pot, not in a microwave”.
{slide=Clergy Honoured} CLERGY HONOURED
Two Sydney clergy were recently honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours:
Cardinal George Pell was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), for service to the Catholic Church in Australia and internationally, to raising debate on matters of an ethical and spiritual nature, to education, and to social justice.
Fr Terence Joseph Purcell was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the Catholic Church, particularly through the restoration of St Benedict’s Church, Broadway.
This public recognition of valued work will be welcomed by us all, and particularly by those who have shared their lives and ministry. {/slide}
  • Created: 01 July 2005
  • Modified: 23 April 2009