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Franciscan way is joy

Fr Benignus Clowes: “Life is meant to be a joy.”

By Peter Bugden FR Benignus Clowes clearly remembers the day early in his time as a Franciscan friar when he came away from confession and “cried and cried”. Dogged by scrupulosity – obsessive guilt about moral and religious issues – he had spoken with an experienced friar about the problem and ... Read More »

Living the pipe dream

Musician's dream

By Paul Dobbyn PLAYING a constant refrain in Roland Bartkowiak’s life was a dream to run his own church choir. The dream was realised when he took charge of Red Hill’s renowned St Brigid’s Church choir in 2004, building on the work of the previous choirmaster John Hopsick. Prior to ... Read More »

Jessika finds faith journey ‘rougher than the seas’

Faithful woman: Jessika Trieu said when God began to challenge her faith, the experience was “rougher than the seas”. Photo: Emilie Ng

By Emilie Ng MOTHER Teresa’s biography includes a chilling period of darkness that was said to have lasted more than 50 years. Biographies say the Albanian-born beatified could not feel God, so she looked for Him in the thousands of abandoned men and women lined up on the streets of ... Read More »

Care at the cutting edge

Caring leader: Monsignor Robert Vitillo (third from right) at Ho Chi Minh City’s Mai Tam Centre – a residence for mothers and children living with AIDS run by the Fathers of St Camillus and the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. With the help of Fr John Toai, left, the mothers started a flower shop as an income-generating project.

By Paul Dobbyn MONSIGNOR Robert Vitillo often tells the story of the ageing South African bishop who volunteered to share a room with a young AIDS- infected man at a Caribbean seminar on the disease in the late 1980s. The American-born priest, for the past 27 years full-time special advisor on ... Read More »

Remembering Daniel

Always cherished: Bruce and Denise Morcombe in front of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation truck, which is used in a safety program for school children; (inset) Daniel Morcombe.

By Paul Dobbyn “IF love could have saved you, you’d have lived forever.” Written in light script above that smiling, youthful face, burnt into a nation’s consciousness over more than a decade, the words are on Daniel Morcombe’s headstone. The 13-year-old’s grave is near the apex of the small and neat, ... Read More »

Devoted to St Mary

Saintly inspiration: Carmel Gribban gives thanks to St Mary of the Cross in St Stephen’s Chapel, Brisbane city. Photo: Emilie Ng

By Emilie Ng DIVINE assistance from Australia’s first saint led Brisbane woman Carmel Gribban to doctors who saved her from a life-threatening fistula on her brain. In 2007, Carmel was diagnosed with a rare dural arteriovenous fistula where her cerebral artery, which circulated blood into the brain, was abnormally connected to ... Read More »

Free to be a woman

Leading lady: Professor Helen Alvare and daughter Kate Duggan enjoy a coffee on the final day at the John Paul II Australian Leaders Forum in Melbourne.

By Emilie Ng CONFESSING fidelity to the Catholic Church and her teachings on moral issues makes Catholic advocate for marriage, family and religion and law professor, Helen Alvaré, unpopular. But as far as Church in America is concerned, and now increasingly throughout the world as her works become more widely ... Read More »

Matthew’s making the best of his one per cent

Family first: Proud dad Matthew Ames outside St Thomas’ Church in Camp Hill during Confirmations with children Luke, 10, Emily, 4, Ben, 9, and Will, 8, and wife Diane Ames.
Photo: Jenny Cuerel.

By Emilie NgMATTHEW Ames didn’t weep when loving wife Diane explained three times that she had authorised doctors to amputate his arms and legs to save him from death by an infection.But the dedicated father of four couldn’t keep a dry eye when his wife shared that sons Luke, Ben, ... Read More »

Catholic education shaped Annabel

Annabel Pike: “There’s nothing you can’t handle if you’ve got family and faith by your side.”

By Emilie Ng ANNABEL Pike knows first hand that childhood dreams can never be brushed off as trivial nonsense. From the time the 23-year-old was in primary school, nursing was at the top of her list of things she could do as an adult. The dream never subsided, thanks to ... Read More »

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