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How this 86-year-old priest went from being an atheist to evangelising the world

“HELLO, this is Jack,” Fr Jack Soulsby says in his rich, booming voice with an accent that likely springs from his Cornish beginnings. He’s answering the phone as he sits in hospital in Brisbane wracked with pain from illness that’s been with him for months. It’s his provincial Fr Bob Barber, of the Marist Fathers, on the line checking up ... Read More »

Why do we venerate the saints?

Fra Angelico painting The Domincan Blessed

WHEN attending Mass in Brisbane a few months ago I had my first experience of déjà vu. Every time I left the church, a local parishioner would grab my arm, fix me with an enquiring look and ask with great earnestness: “What order are you from?” After a few days of repeating the words “Dominicans” or “Order of Preachers” I ... Read More »

How God keeps surprising Paul and Christine Hodgkinson

Paul and Christine Hodgkinson

PAUL Hodgkinson, approaching 83 and aware it might be time to call it a day as a teacher, turned to God for guidance. He was bowled over by what happened next. He’d been a teacher in Christian Brothers schools all around Queensland and for the past 20 years has been a Religious Instruction volunteer in state schools near where he ... Read More »

‘Jesus said … I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink’, Sr Marella Rebgetz is following his teachings

THERE aren’t too many religious sisters who can claim to be water engineers. However, Good Samaritan Sister Marella Rebgetz has always had a practical, scientific bent of mind and has put her talents to use. Last month she was elected to the congregation’s new leadership team until 2023, and she is committed to the Good Sams’ Statement of Directions, which ... Read More »

How we think about young Catholics is mostly wrong

World Youth Day Rio

I HAVE been asked to write a column about being a “young person of faith”. I have found it an odd request. Not least because we never seem hear the corresponding alternative – “old person of faith”, or even “middle-aged person of faith”. Perhaps they sound less flattering. I suspect people enjoy adding the age-specific adjective to highlight what they ... Read More »

We’re called to a radical love which goes beyond differences

By Sr Melissa Dwyer I RECENTLY attended the Ignite Youth Conference in Brisbane and in the weeks that have followed I’ve struggled to get one particular song out of my head. I don’t know the words of the verses, or even the entire chorus, but the one phrase that is still ringing in my ears is, “Your love is louder”. ... Read More »

Fr Willie Lee following Pope Francis’ call to go to peripheries of society

  GROWING up in Fiji, Willie Lee admired the Irish Columban missionaries who travelled across the world to serve the people of his island home. His great-great-grandfather had accepted the first Catholic priests to his remote rural province of Vanua Levu or “Big Land”. Little did young Willie know that one day he would become a Columban missionary. “I saw ... Read More »

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