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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

Emergency room trip in Philippines prompts family’s Lenten fundraiser

Miguel Balagtas in the emergency room in the Philippines

A BRISBANE parishioner has launched a heartfelt Lenten appeal for a struggling hospital in the Philippines. Sherry Balagtas was shocked at hospital conditions when her 13-year-old son Miguel was admitted with food poisoning during a family holiday in Palawan province recently. She said the Coron District Hospital was poorly lacking in basic supplies and medicines. “We had to call the ... Read More »

North Queensland in recovery mode after major flood damage

Sr Nina Barra in Ingham

NORTH Queensland is recovering after major flooding cut roads, closed Catholic schools and caused major property damage. Hardest hit was the town of Ingham, where a muddy clean-up of homes and businesses was underway after floodwaters swept through town, with authorities issuing a warning about crocodiles and snakes. “We’re cut off north, east and west still, but the centre of ... Read More »

Nigerian priest details his honest experiences of Brisbane parishes in first memoir

Fr Emmanuel Aguiyi

A NIGERIAN Catholic priest in Brisbane has written a heartfelt book about his experiences working in a suburban Australian church, including dealing with culture shock and bridging cultural barriers. “At times, having a foreign priest is a source of tension for some parishioners who have not done much with people from other countries, particularly Africa,” Fr Emmanuel Aguiyi, who is ... Read More »

Levels of inequality in Australia need to be corrected as statistics show three million Australians are living in poverty

Joe Zabar

THREE million Australians, including more than 730,000 children, live in poverty, attendees at a Catholic Social Services Australia conference were told. “We are becoming a nation divided, with the spoils of economic growth becoming ever more concentrated in the hands of those already with wealth,” CSSA strategic operations and economic policy senior director Joe Zabar said. Mr Zabar quoted Pope ... Read More »

New project to challenge Catholics to reduce carbon footprint, care more for environment

Peter Arndt

A PROJECT aimed at healing, protecting and caring for our common home is to be introduced in parishes and Catholic agencies across Brisbane archdiocese. Called Living Laudato Si’, the project will draw on Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical – Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home – and will challenge Catholics to make practical changes to the environment around them. ... Read More »

Have you considered ‘digital fasting’ for Lent?

Digital fasting

BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge has encouraged Catholics to consider “digital fasting” this Lent. He made the suggestion during his Ash Wednesday homily on February 14 at the Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane. The Archbishop added digital fasting to the more traditional call to fast from food and other activities and habits as a mark of self-denial as Catholics contemplate Christ’s ... Read More »

Advanced cancer patients to volunteer for new medicinal cannabis oil trial at Brisbane’s Mater Research

Mater Research Care Centre staff

QUEENSLAND researchers will soon start a major clinical trial to find out the benefits of medicinal cannabis for cancer patients receiving palliative care. “We are delighted to be one of nineteen research projects funded in this round right across Australia,” team leader from Mater Research in Brisbane Professor Janet Hardy said. Medicinal cannabis is now legal in Queensland, yet Professor ... Read More »

Australian Bishops defend religious freedom as ‘fundamental human right’

fight for religious freedom

THE Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has called for Australian laws to be updated to recognise religious freedom. “Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right,” the bishops said in a submission to the Federal Government’s Religious Freedom Review. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commissioned the review following last year’s “yes” vote on same-sex marriage, with hearings conducted by a five-member expert ... Read More »

Queensland farming communities “nothing short of desperate” for rain

outback sunset

CATHOLICS in outback Queensland are praying for drought-breaking rain, as graziers are forced to sell off their cattle. “Desperate. Nothing short of desperate,” Blackall stock agent Jeremy Barron said, describing the plight of farming communities that have endured up to six failed “wet” seasons. “It’s at that stage where no one’s got an answer. “It’s not only the properties, it’s ... Read More »

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