Faith at the Fiddler: Relationships, Holiness and Intimacy

By Steven Buhagiar - Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers. Photo supplied.

Attendees were in for something a little different at the Mean Fiddler, Rouse Hill, when they turned up to listen to Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers on Thursday 20 August for the third instalment of Faith at the Fiddler for 2015.

The US based ‘Dynamic Deacon’, as he is affectionately known, immediately set the stage for an interactive night by stepping out from behind the lectern to perform a one-man skit. While alternating between the role of an attractive young lady and the male leader of a group of macho and gawking young men, the Deacon had the audience in stitches as he humorously portrayed the prevalent culture that surrounds and so often corrupts the minds of young people today.

The evening’s talk was entitled, ‘Relationships, Holiness and Intimacy’, and the Deacon didn’t hold back in tackling the critical moral issues of our time.

He noted how sex had become an everyday commodity. Marriage, as presented by Scripture, had been deconstructed and re-imagined by a culture that had pushed aside any notion of a loving God and a divinely revealed moral law.

Deacon Harold put forward St John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body’ as the antidote and the framework with which to understand the mystery and inherent beauty of human sexuality, as well as the wonderful difference but simultaneous complementarity of man and woman.

He explained with great insight that the pervading contraceptive mentality that marks our age, had brought about a destructive separation between life and love, and was a key element in the breakdown of married life. He admitted that this is often a difficult and unpopular message to get across, as it is seen as one of the Church’s “hard sayings”. He emphasised that despite increasing opposition to key Church teachings, we must continue to speak the truth but to always do so in love.

He ended the evening with two final tips. “The best gift I can give my children is to love my wife as Christ loved the Church.” The second gave some practical advice on father-daughter relations. “If I want my daughter to marry the man of ‘my’ dreams, I’d better show her what a real man looks like.”

For those interested in listening to more of Deacon Harold’s talks on family life, Catholic apologetics, and evangelisation, please contact Parousia Media tel (02) 9651 0375 or visit

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