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Karen’s spiritual journey

By Paul Dobbyn THREE days into her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Karen Gerrard wasn’t travelling well. Her knees felt as though they were about to give out after her trek down part of the Pyrenees in this early stage of the Camino Frances (the French Way). Stretching out ahead of her were 30 more days of walking ... Read More »

Seven tips for helping a friend in an abusive relationship

Girl looking out window sadly

By Michaela Daphne I DIDN’T know I was in an abusive relationship until I wasn’t in one anymore. It was several months afterwards that I saw a billboard in the city that said, “Is he watching what you spend, is he telling you who to be friends with, is he telling you how to dress? Did you know this is abuse?” ... Read More »

Coming home to the Church

Leaving cults

By Paul Dobbyn EILISH Gaffney was at Helidon’s Magnificat Meal Movement headquarters in early 2012 listening to a live Skype talk from the movement’s founder in Vanuatu. To her shock, she heard the founder Debra Burslem denounce two of her closest friends. That was when Eilish felt the first serious stirrings of doubt about the path she was on. Claire ... Read More »

Finding faith on the court

By Patrick Ransom THE boys. It’s the name affectionately given to each young man’s group of closest male companions. I am blessed to have a diverse mix of friends from various walks of life – friends from school, university, work, ministry and some of my other hobbies. These young men are my peers, my friends, my mates, but simultaneously they ... Read More »

No contradiction

I RESPOND to the letter “Big Bang bunkum” from the Catholic Leader of April 5.  The letter writer appears to believe that the Big Bang theory is incompatible with belief in a Creator God. I am sure that this would come as a surprise to Monsignor Georges Lemaitre, the Belgian Jesuit priest, physicist and astronomer who first proposed what is ... Read More »

Rising to the challenge

Steph Lalor of Caritas

AMAZINGLY Steph Lalor’s faith was not shredded by her exposure to the devastation and trauma caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu last month. Quite the opposite, the Caritas Pacific program manager said. The monster cyclone, the strongest ever recorded to make landfall in the South Pacific, was responsible for 11 deaths and the destruction of more than 75,000 homes ... Read More »

Hail Mary to the end

By Paul Dobbyn AUTHOR Michele Gierck is emphatic that accompanying her mother through Alzheimer’s to her eventual death “is not a sad story”. Reading the Melbourne author’s latest book, “Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical maze and me”, it’s easy to agree. “Touching”, “inspirational”, “heart-warming” and “informational” are words which come to mind, but definitely not “sad”. Michele was very ... Read More »

Led to Christ

By Emilie Ng WILL Nicol has thrown off many ugly crosses in his life, but there’s one he would eagerly clutch until he dies – the crucifix. And while the 25-year-old nor any human being will ever have a chance to touch Christ’s real cross, this year he walked in Jesus’ shoes, portraying the Son of God in the Stations ... Read More »

Human sexuality

IN a recent ABC TV interview federal Labor leader Bill Shorten boasted of having “stood up to the Australian Christian Lobby over ‘same-sex marriage’”. Unfortunately, it seems many modern-day so-called Catholics see themselves as free to agree with him. Likewise, and while we should all reject bullying, our society’s laws and actions no longer extend proper protection to the vulnerable ... Read More »

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