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Archbishop’s award is ‘an honour for religion’

ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby of Brisbane, named in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday honours list, has accepted the accolade as “a compliment to the Church”.

The archbishop was named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia when the honours were announced last Monday.

He was honoured for his service to the Catholic Church in Australia, particularly as Archbishop of Brisbane, and to the community through the promotion of ecumenical dialogue.

On the recognition of his work for ecumenism, Archbishop Bathersby said he had “always been strongly ecumenical”.

Apart from being co-chair of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), he has been co-chair of the Australian Catholic-Uniting Church Dialogue since 1993, was president of the National Council of Churches in Australia from 1997-2000, and a member of the Catholic-Methodist International Dialogue from 1991-95.

Archbishop Bathersby has been Archbishop of Brisbane since 1992 and was Bishop of Cairns from 1986-92.

He was spiritual director at Banyo Seminary from 1973-79 and 1982-86.

Other Queensland Catholics on the honours list included Mercy Sister Denise Coghlan, of Brisbane, who was named a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to international humanitarian aid as director of the Jesuit Refugee Services in Cambodia.

Edward Howard, of Aspley, was also named a member in that division for service to the community through executive, advisory and leadership roles with a range of health, tenancy, Church and social welfare organisations.

His Church involvement has included being a member of St Stephen’s Cathedral Building Development Committee, a member of the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Catholic University, member of the St Vincent de Paul Society since 1954, and chair of the governing board of the Mercy Aged Care Services from 1993-2003.

Awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division were Giovanni Antonaglia, of Lutwyche, for service to the Italian community of Brisbane, particularly as a supporter of a range of charitable, social welfare, cultural and religious organisations and Mercy Sister Josephine Crawford, of South Brisbane, for service to the community through the establishment and development of the Mater Health Services Archives, and to health care as an administrator and a nurse.

Others included Vincent Habermann, of Bundaberg, for service to sport, particularly cricket, and to the community of Bundaberg and James Lucey, of Moorooka, for service to education through leadership, teaching and rugby coaching roles.

Written by: Staff writers
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