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Fiona’s story – Vinnies helps restore hope

Fiona’s story

“One day I spiralled into an alcohol-induced psychosis. I called ‘000’ and told them I was afraid I was going to harm myself and that my children needed to be taken into care.” These are Fiona’s words. The words of a woman in crisis. And there’s countless words like them told daily to volunteer members of St Vincent de Paul ... Read More »

Camera ‘weapon’ of choice for West Papuan activist

West Papuan man Wensislaus Fatubun

A YOUNG West Papuan currently in Australia is shooting video rather than bullets in his battle to fight the intimidation, torture and massacres that are regular occurrences in his homeland.  Wensislaus Fatubun is a filmmaker and self-declared “video activist” intent on documenting the plight of his countrymen under Indonesian occupation. But the documentaries he makes put his own life at ... Read More »

Journeying in faith

FATHER John Sherman is no stranger to doubt.  Despite being the first Queenslander to join the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Australia, getting to the seminary was no easy feat. “I went down to the seminary to go into the novitiate (at Sorrento, Victoria) and lost all desire to go,” he said.  “I could’ve run the whole way back ... Read More »

At home with the dying

GENIA Miszkowycz stared down at the boisterous red-headed girl tugging on her nurse’s uniform, but no words came to mind. It was lunchtime on the palliative care ward, and amidst the sounds of construction, nurse Genia heard a mother taking her last breath. She was the mum of the red-headed girl. “She tugged on my uniform and she says, ‘Don’t ... Read More »

Shaping the future

By Emilie Ng LEADING a school ties Upper Coomera’s first Catholic school principal to a 70-hour working  week, but the arduous slog is nothing but a dream come true. “There’s no job more satisfying than teaching, of being able to make a difference and investing in the future,” principal Dora Luxton said. Working as principal for the Gold Coast’s first ... Read More »

Dedicated to Jesus

By Emilie Ng SPEAKING with a nun on the first day of school moved one of Brisbane’s Ursuline Sisters so much it convinced her to join the order 50 years ago. Ursuline Sister Gabriel Williams said she would never forget the impression of a nun at a Catholic boarding school in Armidale. “I can remember when I went to boarding ... Read More »

From boat person to bishop

By Aoife Connors “I was one of the boat people who escaped from South Vietnam.” During migration awareness month in August, the new Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for migrants and refugees Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen shared his journey from survival as a refugee to nurturing a longing to become a priest, before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne. ... Read More »

Relief for innocents

By Peter Bugden COLIN Apelt remembers the days when your religion could decide what you ate for breakfast. “Catholics didn’t buy (a certain brand of breakfast cereal) because it was manufactured by (another denomination),” he said, recalling the early 1960s when he and his friends were about to try something quite different, quite ahead of their time. To put it ... Read More »

Hearing with heart and soul

By Peter Bugden PERCY Bates, hearing not a sound from the world for his 100 years of life, has well and truly heard with his heart and soul. Having celebrated his 100th birthday on August 14, he communicates with great feeling about the joys of his life and about his faith. The walls of his room at the Symes Grove ... Read More »

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