News & Events Weekly Update

11 September 2017

News and Events across the Diocese of Parramatta and beyond

Proposed Change to Marriage Act

Marriage is… The Church views marriage as a unique relationship between a woman and a man.  Marriage is also a fundamental institution for all societies because of its importance in uniting spouses as potential parents and in providing for the upbringing of their children.  It has therefore been understood as the union of a man and a woman in all cultures and religions until very recent times and is still so defined in international law and the law of most nations.

… To insist that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman is not a criticism of other kinds of relationships.  By recognising this particular type of relationship our community and its marriage laws do not unjustly discriminate against other relationships: rather, our community and its laws recognize the essential connections between male-female bonding and child-bearing, and between children and their natural parents. Taken from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference website:

Holy Land Pilgrimage: January 2018

Fr John McSweeney from St John XXIII Catholic Parish Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens will be leading a 15-day Holy Land pilgrimage (with three day optional extension in Petra, Jordan). Cost, details and further information through Harvest Journeys under tour code: 8PV03. Phone 02 9390 5460, email or visit

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

HIGH SUPPORT NEEDS CLASSES KIRINARI, Xavier College, Llandilo WIYANGA, St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas are accepting enrolments. Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta provides an inclusive education for students, recognising that some students with a moderate intellectual disability may need additional support. High support needs classes provide students with an alternate platform that addresses their learning needs. Direct enquiries to Alma George, Manager Diverse Learning Needs on 0407233622/

Campion College Adoration Under the Stars: 17 September

Campion College invites you to a night of adoration under the stars. When? 17th of September. What time? 7pm. Where? Campion College. The night will start off in the chapel with an International Rosary (to be led in different languages), followed by a talk that will be given by Father John Paul Escarlan on Vocations. Adoration will then commence at 7:45pm, and will conclude with Benediction at 8:45pm.

Martin Luther – The man and his music: 21 September

A concert commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be held at St. Finbar’s Church, Glenbrook on Thursday 21st September 2017 at 7.30pm.   Sing and learn about some of the great hymns composed by Martin Luther and other Reformation hymn writers.   Performances by the Blue Mountains Chorale with Robert Ampt (Organist, Martin Luther Church, Sydney).  Suggested donation:  $20, $10 concession. Enquiries 4754 1780

Free public lecture: 22 September

‘‘Violence gives rise to religion: And why popular culture has this back to front…’ with Dr James Alison, Friday 22nd September, 6.30-8pm, St Paul’s College, University of Sydney, 9 City Road, Camperdown. Abstract: Much popular culture and academic literature identifies religion as the cause of violence. In contrast, what if the opposite is the case: that violence gives rise to religion? James Alison will show that religion is actually an answer to the problem of human violence, which develops as a fundamental issue in human evolution and hominization. Biographical information: Dr. James Alison is an internationally acclaimed Catholic theologian, and author of numerous books, including The Joy of Being Wrong, Raising Abel, Knowing Jesus, Faith Beyond Resentment, Undergoing God, and Jesus the Forgiving Victim. For more information, please go to: Details:

Day Seminar: 23 September

DAY SEMINAR: Girard’s Mimetic Theory: A Short Guide with Dr James Alison. Saturday 23rd September, 9am-5pm. St Paul’s College, University of Sydney, 9 City Road, Camperdown. This seminar provides an introduction to the French-Catholic theorist, René Girard (former professor of Stanford University and member of Académie française), whose theories on desire, violence, religion and Christianity have been ground-breaking. The seminar will cater for beginners and for those who are more advanced. The seminar will be interactive, with workshops and groups led by Dr James Alison, Rev. Prof. Scott Cowdell (Charles Sturt University), Assoc. Prof. Chris Fleming (Western Sydney University), Dr Carly Osborn (University of Adelaide) and Dr Joel Hodge (Australian Catholic University). Cost: $100 (waged), $70 (concession), free for students. Book at Details:

Discernment to the Permanent Diaconate: 24 September

Come and learn more about vocations to the Diaconate and have a chat with our team members. We are looking for men aged between 35 to 55 and residing in the Diocese of Parramatta. Our discernment program consists of five sessions, with each session dealing with different aspects of the Diaconate.

This is the fourth session of the 2017 program.  Subsequent sessions will be announced in due course. Venue: St Anthony of Padua Parish, 27-33 Aurelia Street, Toongabbie, NSW 2146. Time: 2:30 to 5 pm (including Mass and fellowship).

For further information visit  please contact any of the following deacons:

Deacon James –

Deacon Tan –

Deacon George –

Wedding Anniversary Mass: 24 September

All Married couples are invited to celebrate their Wedding Anniversary with other couples and family members at the 11am Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta on Sunday, 24th September, 2017. Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv will celebrate the Mass and will host a light lunch following Mass.  Please contact your Parish Secretary to register your names by 18th September, 2017; or call the Life Marriage & Family Office on 02 8838 3460 or

Social Justice Sunday: 24 September

The Catholic Church in Australia celebrates Social Justice Sunday on 24 September. This year, the Australian Bishops’ Social Justice Statement is titled: ‘Everyone’s Business: Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy’. The Statement calls for an economy that is founded on justice and offers dignity and inclusion to every person. For further details about the Social Justice Statement, visit the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website ( or call (02) 8306 3499.

Shrine Time for Young Adults 18-35: 24 September

One Holy Hour with prayer, reflection, meditation, praise & worship. 2017 is devoted to Praying for Vocations and Devotion to Mary as per our Holy Father’s intentions for WYD 2018 in Panama. From 7.30pm-8.30pm followed by social gathering.

Mary, honoured as the Mother Thrice Admirable, offers 3 graces in the Shrine, this monthly event is a unique opportunity to experience them regularly: Discover your HOME in the hearts of Jesus and Mary; See breakthrough TRANSFORMATION in your life; and Get your spiritual boost to be an authentic WITNESS. In the Shrine at Mount Schoenstatt, 230 Fairlight Road, Mulgoa.

Q & A Programme “Let’s Talk About What Matters”: 24 September

Held at The Crypt, St Patrick’s Church, Grosvenor Street, Sydney, 1.30pm – 3.00pm. September 24 – “Social Media – A force for good?” Professor Gerard Goggin & Cecilia Hilder; October 1 – “Pornography: Who does it harm?” Rev Fr John Baron op; October 22 “Finding the Courage to make a Difference” Fr Frank Brennan sj AO and Alpha Cheng. No need to book. No charge. Further information: website:  Email: or 02 9990 7003

Time for Us Weekend for Families: 30 Sept-2 Oct

Time for Us Weekends at Mount Schoenstatt include inputs for adults, programmes for children of all ages including baby-sitting, couple and family time, games fellowship with other families, prayer, reflection and Holy Mass. For more information or to register contact Sr M Julie Brcar: or 0408 738 334.

Los Angeles Religious Education Congress 2018: Rise Up

A wonderful opportunity for a faith formation experience for parishioners, leaders, teachers, catechists … all people in ministry and all people who would like to enrich their faith! Join this pilgrimage group to attend the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress 14th – 23rd March 2018. Cost of pilgrimage $3080 for 7 days with some additional expenses. Please contact Lisa Bright on 9622 1125 or for an information pack.

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