The latest news from Living Catholic, Catholic Archdiocese Adelaide December 2015

December  2015

Christmas charity flourishes


Christmas is a time of joy and peace, family and friends, but for some it can be a miserable time unless they receive some help and support from other people and organisations.
Catholic Charities provides much-needed funds to help frontline agencies working with the disadvantaged right throughout the year.
At Christmas, when the need is great, these agencies provide a meal for the homeless on Christmas Day, respite for parents and carers of children with disabilities over the long holiday break, accommodation for female victims of domestic violence and much, much more.
To thank the many generous donors to Catholic Charities, and to celebrate the important work of the agencies it supports, a Thanksgiving Mass and Expo was once gain held in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral and Mary MacKillop plaza.
More than 100 students from St Teresa’s School Brighton travelled by train to celebrate the Mass and expo along with groups of about 20 pupils from Antonio Catholic School, Morphett Vale and St Francis de Sales College, Mount Barker.
Vicar General Father Philip Marshall visited the expo after celebrating Mass and chatted with Catholic Charities agencies who shared their stories with donors and supporters. 
A barbecue was provided thanks to the Hutt St Centre and the team from Catholic Church Insurance, supported by Centacare staff, while Timothy Davey provided musical entertainment.  A large crowd of school children were able to get their faces painted and there were rumours that Pope Francis had been seen in the crowd.
For more photos from the day click here 


Youth festival

More than 3,000 young people from dioceses all over Australia celebrated the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide recently.

The festival was hosted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in partnership with the Archdiocese of Adelaide from Thursday December 3 until Saturday December 5 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Young people up to the age of 25 took part in five plenary sessions, workshops and activities celebrating the theme Blessed are the Pure of Heart.

Over 60 exhibitors from a wide range of Catholic organisations set up interactive stalls and demonstrations to allow young people to experience the breadth of the Church in its many expressions.

Bishops, priests and religious from around Australia attended the festival. International speakers included Jason Evert, founder of the Chastity Project, and singer-songwriter Steve Angrisano.

National talent included Sr Hilda Scott OSB, Fr Rob Galea, Genevieve Bryant and Gary and Natasha Pinto.

For detailed coverage of the festival, visit

A better future

As heads of state travelled to Paris for the November 30 – December 11 climate talks, Australians joined hundreds of thousands of people in at least 150 countries around the world in rallies to demand action on climate change.

Across Australia, participants were invited along with their parish, family and friends for a colourful, vibrant, fun and united display of people power. Marches took place in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart.

In Adelaide participants gathered at the Torrens Parade Ground, King William Road, at 11am on Sunday, November 29 and marched to Victoria Square behind a banner promoting the papal encyclical Laudato Si’.

Prayer for the Earth
God of love, teach us to care for this world our common home
- to listen to and heed the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor;
- to be united in heart and mind in responding courageously;
- to seek the common good and protect the beautiful earthly garden you have created for us, for all our brothers and sisters, for all generations to come.

Hampers appreciated 

This Christmas, due to the continued generosity of Catholic Charities donors, Christmas cheer is again being shared with many people in need.  

Foodbank Christmas Hampers filled with festive goodies like canned leg ham, pudding, fruit mince pies and premium quality Christmas fruitcake have been packed and despatched this December to Catholic Charities agencies for their clients. 

“Please accept our grateful thanks on behalf of our clients for the Christmas hampers which were delivered yesterday.  Thank you again for this generous donation which will make a significant difference to the clients who receive the hampers,” said Bernie Victory, Centacare Catholic Family Services.

Working wings

One of Hutt Street’s clients, Lucinda, was offered a job recently by GOGO Events who employed five women from their Pathways program in casual work.

Along with five other women from The Big Issue, they were employed to make 50 sets of fairy wings for the Adelaide Food Awards. The ladies gathered at Adelaide College of the Arts in Light Square and set about their task using feathers, fur, glitter and glue.

The women were thrilled with the work and enjoyed making new friends and connections for future opportunities. The GOGO Events team has since offered more casual work to clients.

According to the Hutt St Centre, these partnerships are invaluable for them as they reward all parties and achieve long term outcomes which help to end homelessness.

For more information visit the Hutt St Centre website.

Book appeal

Families and staff of Mercedes College have responded to a social media book appeal started by Judy Walker from the Torres Strait island of Erub Erwer Uteb and donated more than 300 picture books and novels to the local school.

The school has 49 students aged from 1-11. The Island is three hours north of Thursday Island and can only receive items by helicopter or ferry.

Mercedes College library support officer, Elaine Grottick, personally mailed books to the school before launching the appeal to Mercedes staff who invited the Year 2 cohort to write messages of support in postcards to the students.

Further books will be purchased at the Scholastic Book Sale with the money donated by the Mercedes community.

Praying for unity

The Australian Catholic Bishops have expressed their deep sympathies for the hundreds of innocent people killed and maimed in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

President of Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart said, “We offer our prayers and condolences to the victims of these horrendous attacks. Like all Australians, we join in solidarity with the people of France and share in the hope that the perpetrators and their networks will be swiftly brought to justice.

“Here in Australia, we pray for a continued national resolve to assist refugees fleeing this violence and oppression. We pray for unity among all cultures of our diverse Australian community, and call for a special concern to ensure that Australians of Middle Eastern background and Muslims are not subject to intimidation or vilification as a result of these tragic world events.”

Cultural day 

Year 9 Kildare College students (L-R) Amelia Finn and Alyssa Margaritis took part in a bark painting workshop as part of the school’s Acknowledging Culture and Traditions day, held in October.

The day involved all Year 9 and Indigenous students taking part with elders in workshops on the dreaming, the stolen generation, dot painting, bush tucker and medicine plants, and damper making.

After a barbecue lunch, the Tea Tree Gully Winds Elders Choir performed for students and staff and a healing ceremony was held, with elders planting a tree in the school’s Wirra Garden to remember the day.

Auricht House

Annie O'Neill pictured (pictured left)  presents a cheque for $8000 raised at the recent Catholic Charities Annual Golf Day to Elizabeth Greenham, Coordinator of Client Services, Disability Services, Centacare Catholic Family Services.
The Golf Day was held on October 19 at West Lakes Golf Course where 70 golfers braved the 34 degree heat to play a round of golf and enjoy lunch as well as help raise money for Disability Respite Services (Kolbe Cottage and Auricht House).

Kimberley volunteers

The Diocese of Broome, WA, requires volunteers to assist with the work of the local Church on Aboriginal Missions.

There are various important voluntary tasks: administration, building maintenance, gardening, shop staffing, cooking, cleaning etc. Placements are preferred for a period of 6 months plus.

For further details and an application form visit or contact Anneliese Rohr: 08 9192 1060 or by email

Year of Mercy 

Visitors to St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral will notice the eastern side door at the back of the building has been painted yellow and framed with an arch featuring the logo for the Year of Mercy.

The special Mercy Door was opened on Sunday December 13, a week after Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome to mark the beginning of the Year of Mercy on December 8 2015.

Also coinciding with the Jubilee year is the development of a new smart phone app to assist with daily reflection and prayer practice.

The ‘Mercy-ing’ app provides a morning inspiration and an evening reflection with content being drawn from a wide selection of sources including scripture, contemporary theologians, activists and thinkers.  

The app has been funded by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea and developed with the support of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta and New Zealand.

Reflections and content for the app started from December 1, and will conclude at the end of the Jubilee Year in November 2016. Download from the App Store

Life-giving gifts

Just in time for Christmas, Catholic Mission has launched its Life-Giving Gifts catalogue, featuring over 20 gifts that will provide vital support to children, communities and Church leaders across the globe.     
Available both online and in hard copy, the catalogue features a vast array of options, including tax-deductible gifts ranging from as little as $9 for a laying hen for a family in need to $22,654 for the construction of a multifunctional community centre.

Other Life-Giving Gifts include:
  • $12 provides rosary beads for six children living in an orphanage
  • $29 provides medications and supplies for a whole community in a remote area
  • $36 provides agricultural skills training for seminarians
  • $120 allows one child to attend a Christian summer camp
  • $220 provides a wheelchair for one child with a disability
  • $824 provides clean water through the installation of a water pump in a school.
You can order your Life-Giving Gift here, or through a printable PDF catalogue. Or request a copy of your printed catalogue by phoning toll free 1800 257 296.

Lenten Resource for 2016

Return to God: divine grace and human struggle, the Ecumenical Lenten Resource for 2016, is now available. The Resource is grounded in the Gospels that will be proclaimed in Western and Orthodox Churches each Sunday throughout Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday 10 February 2016. 

Each of the selected Gospels is followed by reflections from three different perspectives - Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant and includes Icons and images.

Ecumenical Lenten Resources have been offered every two years in South Australia for more than 40 years. They offer an opportunity for people from different Churches to gather in small groups for prayer and reflection throughout Lent on the journey together towards Easter.   More information is available from the website.

Pipe organ comes to life

A magnificent pipe organ built in 1927 by the world-renowned Casavant brothers has been installed in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

It took five months for a team of people, two large cranes and a spider crane in the Cathedral loft to overcome many logistical challenges to install the organ. 

As the pipe organ will take some time to ‘settle’ along with some tuning and tonal finishing to ensure the right sounds for the building, it will not be played until early in 2016.

The blessing and commissioning of the organ is planned for the 11am Mass on Sunday February 7 followed by a recital at 7pm on Monday February 8 by one of Australia’s leading organists Mr David Drury, director of music at St Paul’s College with the University of Sydney. 

Free lunch-time organ recitals, featuring organists from around Australia, have also been organised for the Adelaide Fringe. 

A fundraising campaign called the ‘Pipes are Calling’ where schools, groups and individuals can purchase a pipe is now underway. Visit the Adelaide Archdiocesan website for more information.

Dear Pope Francis

A Chicago publishing house is compiling Pope Francis’ first children's book, titled Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World.

The book published by Loyola Press, the publishing arm of the Chicago Jesuits, contains the Pontiff’s personal responses to 30 hand-written letters and drawings from children aged six to 13.

The book will appear in the US in English and Spanish by March and via seven other Jesuit publishers in Italy, Spain, Mexico, Poland, Indonesia, the Philippines and India in at least five additional languages, said Tom McGrath, one of the project’s editors.

McGrath called the Pope’s replies to the children “very charming and pastoral,” adding that the pope often commented on the artwork in addition to the contents of the children’s letters. “He connects with children so well,” McGrath said.

Working together

During early November each year, the City of Port Adelaide Enfield Council celebrates ‘Nunga Week’, highlighting the many positive contributions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. 

The Zebra Finch Men’s Group from Kura Yerlo carved two message sticks, which were presented to individual schools, one of which was Mount Carmel College, and each school contributed artwork, writing, film/music that supported their commitment to Reconciliation. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students, as well as a select group of Year 8 students played host to the Kalaya Children’s Centre, Queenstown, as they transported the message sticks, beautiful artwork, and gifts from their own and other schools, to Mount Carmel. 

“This was an amazing experience for students and staff alike, joining together in the spirit of reconciliation. Students created large Indigenous-themed chalk designs and displayed Indigenous bollards, created by Mount Carmel’s art students,” said Mr Kyall Forster, Mount Carmel College Acting Aboriginal Focus Teacher.

Good seed

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College Year 12 student Katerina Grypma, pictured with Year 8 student My Linh Hang, has helped coordinate the construction of a produce garden at the Enfield secondary school for girls as part of her Religion studies.

Three raised garden beds were last month planted with seedlings for the harvesting of pumpkin, corn, eggplant and melons by Term One next year. 

The garden’s harvest will be used to make soup for the homeless, and form part of the curriculum in Home Economics, Visual Arts and Science.

A peaceful Christmas

The team at Catholic Communications wishes readers a very happy, safe and peaceful Christmas and New Year. We hope you've enjoyed hearing about the many and varied activities of our Catholic community here in South Australia and look forward to bringing you many more stories of Living Catholic in 2016.

Diary Dates

Christmas Masses

A listing of Christmas Masses being celebrated in parishes across the Adelaide Archdiocese can be found here 

Upcoming events St Francis Xavier's Cathedral:

Tuesday January 26, 2016 at 8am - Australia Day Mass 

Sunday February 7, 2016 at 11am - The blessing and commissioning of the new pipe organ
Monday February 8, 2016 at 7pm - Recital by one of Australia’s leading organists Mr David Drury, director of music at St Paul’s College with the University of Sydney. 

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