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Always a ‘yes’ man for God

By Emilie Ng SHAYNE Bennett may have given up his time as Emmanuel Community’s moderator, but he’s put no expiry date on his personal mission to evangelise the world. To date, Shayne has preached the Gospel on every continent “other than down in the Antarctic with the seals and the whales”. “Though if I had the opportunity, I probably would,” ... Read More »

Thankful spirit shines

Deep connections: Frankie O’Leary, now a St Stephen’s Cathedral guide, once went to St Stephen’s School next door. Photo: Paul Dobbyn

By Paul Dobbyn COLOURFUL Frankie O’Leary’s many loves include her family, her faith, volunteering and Brisbane’s mighty Broncos. The spritely 71-year-old’s bright pink hair renders her unmissable in any scenario – whether as a guide in St Stephen’s Cathedral or at a crowded football match. She dyed her hair for the Leukaemia Foundation Appeal 11 years ago and she’s kept ... Read More »

Free to sing for Christ

Set free: Brisbane musician Steph Unger is hoping to flip the music industry upside down with her repertoire of positive, uplifting lyrics. Photo: Emilie Ng

By Emilie Ng STEPH Unger is tired of hearing the barrage of pop songs with inappropriate, demeaning and degrading lyrics. As a former teacher at Our Lady’s College, Annerley, an all-girls’ Catholic secondary school, Steph witnessed first-hand the way music could mould minds, especially young women. “Sometimes the content or the way that men might talk about women or women ... Read More »

‘Christ among us’

By Paul Jeffrey BEHIND the blue-helmeted United Nations soldiers ringing the periphery, their tanks and heavy weapons pointed outward, Maryknoll Father Mike Bassano’s parish is a tightly packed maze of tents and tarpaulins filled with people hiding from war. Fr Bassano is the only priest amid the 25,000 civilians who live inside the civilian protection area of the UN base ... Read More »

Miracle of forgiveness

By Eva-Maria Kolmann CARMELITE Father Aurelio Gazzera was almost lynched by an angry mob in Central African Republic. He prayed the Rosary as rocks pelted his car and furious people pointed weapons at him. The priest had brought the wrath of a number of Muslims down upon himself by supporting the withdrawal of the Séléka (predominantly Muslim) insurgents; some of ... Read More »

The cunning psychology of a cult

By Paul Dobbyn WHEN Debra Geileskey, a charismatic, seemingly devout young Australian woman, arrived in Dublin in 1995 the authority of the Catholic Church in Ireland was under attack. Allegations of corruption and abuse were rocking this once integral part of Irish society. Fr Brendan Smyth was at the centre of one of the first paedophile priest scandals to rock ... Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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