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Dedicated teachers shaping lives for the future

BCE awards

SIX outstanding educators have been acknowledged for their innovation and leadership at the annual Brisbane Catholic Education Excellence in Teaching Awards. With more than 35 finalists representing 14 schools, family, friends, sponsors and special guests gathered at Victoria Park Golf Club to witness Brisbane archdiocese vicar general Monsignor Peter Meneely and BCE executive director Pam Betts present the awards and ... Read More »

University program gives hope to women with mental illness

Jane Sullivan and Gordana Stanojevic

MENTAL illness left Jane Sullivan in isolation for nearly a decade until a Catholic university education program helped her find her voice. Ten years ago, Ms Sullivan was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a serious mental illness that made her extremely tired and unable to commit to long-term activities including work and study. “All up until that time period of being 38, I’d ... Read More »

Friend of ‘the Battler’s God’ puts his pen down

Br John Vernard

MARIST Brother John Venard (Smith), who has written more than 1000 Sacred Space columns for The Catholic Leader, has called it a day. Having released his seventh and final book – Finally, The Battler’s God – three years ago, Br Venard has decided it was time to retire from writing his weekly The Catholic Leader column. “I’m 88 this year,” he ... Read More »

Rising Mass attendance drives Sunnybank church upgrade

New Sunnybank church

MASS attendance has caused a major challenge for Sunnybank parish priest Fr Dan Ryan – and for all the right reasons. Increasing numbers of Catholics at the six weekend Masses at Our Lady of Lourdes, Sunnybank, convinced Fr Ryan to sign the papers for a major church expansion this year. The new church project, which will cost up to $2.3 ... Read More »

Heart patient whose insurer wouldn’t cover surgery now in recovery, thanking God

Chris Mahoney

HEART patient Chris Mahoney is recovering after successful robotic heart surgery in Melbourne. “I only know I thank God for all of the thoughts and prayers that have been offered up for me,” the Brisbane father of four said. Mr Mahoney, from St Mary MacKillop Parish, Birkdale, is recovering after surgery for a prolapsing mitral valve – which was preventing sufficient oxygen ... Read More »

What these 11-year-old children write about Eucharistic Adoration will melt your heart

Children in Eucharistic Adoration

TWO Catholic teachers with a devotion to Eucharistic adoration have introduced young children to the Real Presence of Christ with heart-warming responses. Acting assistant principal for religious education at St Finbarr’s Primary School, Ashgrove, Luke Thomsen and fellow staff member Naimh Healy organised Eucharistic adoration sessions for 187 students aged four to 11 during Corpus Christi week. The adoration initiative is ... Read More »

Chaplains – A friendly face in the darkest of hours

Fr Bob Harwood

FR Bob Harwood answered a knock on the door in Dysart. A dying miner was looking for a priest, knowing the cancer tormenting his body would soon claim his life. He wanted to die in his central Queensland home town and he wanted someone to walk the final weeks with him. He had no family and no close friends. So ... Read More »

Century-old parish surrounded by holy neighbours above and below the ground

Papal blessing

NEIGHBOURS don’t get any more Catholic than in the Banyo Nundah parish. Built in the first free settlement in the penal colony of Brisbane, the now 100-year-old parish has acquired some of the holiest of neighbours both above and below the ground. Parish priest Fr Bernie Gallagher drew up this list of “intellectual properties” for a brief address at the ... Read More »

The Slum-dwelling Sister changing the lives of illiterate children

Sr Vangie Dunton

SISTER Evangeline “Vangie” Dunton lives amidst the slums of Cambodia, providing for the poorest and most vulnerable, especially children. It has become a life mission for this member of the Daughters of Mercy who is visiting Queensland to thank parishioners for their generous support through Catholic Mission, and to spread the word about her work. Sr Dunton’s story of reaching out and giving ... Read More »

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