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New Catholic Jesse Smith celebrates first communion at Easter Vigil

Parish friends with new Catholic Jesse Smith

Pope Francis would be pleased with Jesse Smith. Encouraging pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, Rome, and audiences worldwide to consider the importance placed on messages from the Word of God, our Holy Father would be pleased that Jesse’s Bible is almost falling apart. “What would happen if we turned around … if you forget your cellphone (mobile phone)?” Pope Francis ... Read More »

Servant leadership isn’t about ego and money

servant leadership

Servant leaders: “Authentic leaders have high levels of awareness and high values as well as confidence, hope, optimism, and resilience.” Servant leadership is moving outside of religious institutions into mainstream business; at least that’s what some business gurus are saying. Since the Global Financial Crisis organisations have been facing legitimacy issues as employees fail to see their leaders live the ... Read More »

Domestic harm calls for major cultural shift

Woman in abuse

ADDRESSING deficits within Catholic culture has been a consistent message from Church leaders following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Church leaders have said cultural change was needed so neglect in pastoral care when responding to vulnerable victims was not repeated. While domestic violence is outside the commission’s remit, I would posit a similar story could ... Read More »

Making a difference backed up by research

ST Vincent de Paul Society Queensland and the University of Queensland have entered into a pioneering partnership to undertake research providing an evidence base for the charity’s “good works”. Vinnies Queensland chief executive officer Peter Maher said: “It was critical for the society to understand what it is doing to assist people in need in our communities, and what is ... Read More »

Mercy in the middle-class

helping-hand

WITNESSING ordinary, middle-class people living extraordinary lives through their corporal works of mercy inspires me. In the busyness of meeting mortgage repayments, taking care of family, work commitments, shopping, exercise – it would be easy to see corporal works of mercy as something not fitting with an ordinary 2016 Australian lifestyle. The reason I write about middle-class is because it ... Read More »

When the Doors close – What will you do when the Year of Mercy finishes?

holy door closing

FROM November 20, the Holy Door will close and the extraordinary Year of Mercy will end. I’ll be honest, I have been extremely slack in terms of taking full advantage of this wonderful year.  However, I have finally picked up Pope Francis’ Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.  It was a good way to ... Read More »

How to cope with narcissism in the workplace without losing your cool

Narcissism in the workplace

GRANDIOSITY, a lack of empathy and desire for admiration – most of us have endured an experience of people with narcissistic traits.  All of us are somewhere on the narcissism spectrum – in the healthy zone, others advanced, and some in the extreme psychopathy territory.  Narcissism is linked with pride which Augustine tells us: “turns angels into devils”. I am ... Read More »

Does your child need an extracurricular activity? Here are five reasons to consider altar serving

altar servers

ALTAR serving competes against the array of attractive sporting and cultural activities available for our children today. Swimming, soccer and tae kwon do promise the benefits of physical health, teamwork and general wellbeing while rugby, dancing and fishing sell outcomes that have found their way into the deep-set cultural and popular assumptions of our society. What about altar serving?  Others ... Read More »

Gender pay gap: Have Catholic organisations forgotten St John Paul II’s letter to women?

Gender pay gap

RECENTLY I became aware of a woman with two decades of experience at a senior level in industry, who regularly volunteers for a Catholic-based organisation, and has helped raise more than $50,000 for them.  At a networking event the organisation’s chairman jumped tables to say he had “a great opportunity” for her.  This “great opportunity” turned out to be working ... Read More »

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