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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 ... 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 ... 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 ... 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 ... Read More »

Adventure in Alice

By Peter Bugden SISTER Anne Surtees has never taken a leap of faith quite like the one she is taking this Easter season. The Ursuline Sister of 35 years is giving up a role she “loves” – as director of Centacare Pastoral Ministries in Brisbane archdiocese – and heading off ... Read More »

Prakash’s amazing life

By Paul Dobbyn PRAKASH Khadka’s entrance into the Catholic Church from the prompting of a Hindu teacher is one of the more unusual conversion stories. But much is remarkable about the journey of this young Gurkha man, separated from his Hindu family to become a child labourer at just eight ... Read More »

Desperate for Jesus

By Emilie Ng SPOTTING a train pulling up at his local station in Perth, Mike Dooley had only one thought left in his mind – jump. The suicidal, depressive man thought the only recovery from his traumatic childhood, one that left an after-taste of intense physical, verbal and sexual abuse ... Read More »

Community builder at work

By Erwin Cabucos LIKE the journey of Catholics from the Philippines to other countries and into Australia, Fr Teri Nueva’s story is one that his people also endured. They have been immersed in the life of poverty and contrast, answered to the call of service, and settled and adjusted to ... Read More »

Clara’s uncovering the gifts of the Holy Spirit

By Paul Dobbyn HANDING parents of a stillborn child in a Melbourne hospital a prayer shawl with religious medals and two red felt hearts attached was a simple gesture. But as Clara Geoghegan, founder of the Called and Gifted program in Australia, said, the blessings to flow from this act ... Read More »

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