Most popular articles of 2017

By Jordan Grantham, 24 January 2018

In 2017 there were a number of articles published in Catholic Outlook that proved popular with readers in the Diocese of Parramatta and across the world. We have listed below the three most popular articles that we published in 2017.

Click on the corresponding links to read the articles in full.

Cardinal Burke: ‘Be confident that in the Church we are encountering Our Lord Jesus Christ’

21 September 2017

His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke gave Catholic Outlook an exclusive interview on current issues faced by the Church regarding His Eminence’s work with Pope Francis, the media, Amoris Laetitia and the dubia.

After Cardinal Burke’s two visits to Australia, many Australian Catholics have met him and learnt from his ministry. The wide-ranging interview clarified several misconceptions circulating in ‘fake news’ about Cardinal Burke and his ministry.

Jordan Grantham: What does the media misunderstand about the Holy Father? 

Cardinal Burke in Switzerland. Image:

+Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke: I think one thing that they misunderstand is that he’s the agent of some revolution in the Church, but the successor of St Peter has nothing to do with revolutions. In fact, he has to do with maintaining the Church in unity with her long and constant tradition.

And they also see Pope Francis as somehow completely distinct from the centuries long tradition of the Church and Her teaching and practice and that isn’t possible either, because the Roman Pontiff is that principle of unity, unity which is not only present now, but unity with those who have gone before over the centuries. In fact, the two are one. When we are unified with the saints and especially with the great teachers of the faith along the centuries, then we also find unity with one another.

J: Do you think the representation of conflict between Pope Francis and yourself is overdone?

+R: Yes, oh, I think so, quite so. It’s all a caricature. They depict Pope Francis as a wonderful, open person and there’s nothing wrong with that, but they depict me as just the opposite.

For the full 4000-word article, visit:

Fr James Dixon: Parramatta Pioneer

16 February 2017

Fr James Dixon was a prisoner priest in the early Colony of New South Wales and said the first Mass sanctioned by the government. The proclamation regarding this Mass was read at Government House, Parramatta, and the first Mass celebrated in Sydney on 15 May 1803.

Fr Dixon had been sentenced to death for alleged involvement in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which was commuted to transportation for life, along with two other Irish priests.

Governor King granted civil permission to publicly gather for Fr Dixon’s celebration of Mass in 1803.

The Mass rotated between Parramatta, Sydney and the Hawkesbury. The precise location of the Mass in Parramatta is unknown. Prior to this permission, Fr Dixon and others heroically ministered in secret, celebrating Mass and the sacraments for their fellow Irish Catholics.

Fr. James Dixon appealed to the combatants to lay down arms.
Image: The Battle of Vinegar Hill.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 1803, Fr Dixon wrote to the Vatican, seeking ecclesiastical permission to minister in the colony. He euphemistically referred to his status as a transported convict: “brought by order of his Government”. Pope Pius VII granted Fr Dixon faculties in 1804 and appointed him Prefect Apostolic.

In 1804, Irish Catholics lead the Castle Hill Rebellion of over 200 convicts. The terrified colony declared martial law. Officials fled the area, including Anglican pastor and significant landholder, Rev Samuel Marsden.

Fr Dixon lost favour with Governor King for the rebellion of his Irish spiritual sons. Governor King thereon referred Fr Dixon as “that Romish priest Dixon” around the time he suspended Fr Dixon’s salary and withdrew permission to gather publicly for Mass.

Fr Dixon was pardoned in 1809 on King George III’s birthday and returned to Ireland, where he ministered in parishes, including as parish priest as Crossabeg, where he had been arrested while serving as curate.

The Wexford Independent obituary in 1840 noted Fr Dixon’s holiness, never “to utter a word but Christian forgiveness towards his persecutors”.

For the full article, visit:

Our Lady of Fatima Video 

13 May 2017

The Our Lady of Fatima Procession video was highly popular in 2017, receiving over 24,000 views across Facebook and YouTube.

Steve Buhagiar, one of the procession organisers, invited Jordan Grantham, Communications Officer for the Diocese of Parramatta to create this promotional video.

It invited people to celebrate on the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima with the procession, Mass and a BBQ lunch.

Fr Robert Bossini, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.

Very Rev Robert Bossini PP, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta featured in the video published on 28 April 2017, directly inviting people to participate.

The date coincided with Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to Fatima to canonise two of the young seers of Fatima, Francisco and Jacinta, who were declared saints on that day, Saturday 13 May 2017.

The apparition and message of Our Lady of Fatima has devotees from across the world, since the 1917 apparition of Our Lady calling the world to penance and prayer amid the devastation of WWI.

Pope Francis has a strong devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and was reported to be a frequent visitor to a shrine to Our Lady of Fatima in Buenos Aires.

The Feast and Procession were the day before Mother’s Day in Australia. Families were encouraged to bring their mothers to celebrate the greatest Mother of all time.

The video won highly commended at the Australasian Catholic Press Association Awards.

For the full video, visit:


This article first appeared in the December 2017 print edition of Catholic Outlook.

At the request of Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, Catholic Outlook was printed in December 2017 to connect the Diocese and showcase the good works across the Diocese’s many agencies and ministries. 

Read Daily
* indicates required