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Bonds stay strong during isolation at Our Lady of the Valley parish

HELEN McGuirk felt like she was being released from prison when she set off on a special mission for her parish priest. The life-long parishioner at Our Lady of the Valley Parish (Gatton Laidley), in the rural fringe west of Brisbane, had been asked to volunteer for a special outreach to people who, like her, had been self-isolating because of ... Read More »

Parish nurse recommends spiritual medicine to combat coronavirus

WE know to wash our hands for the time it takes to say the Our Father, and it’s abundantly clear how close we can be to the nearest person in the supermarket. But in addition to these obligatory recommendations from Australian health officials, parish nurse Leonie Rastas also believes Australians should improve their spiritual health while in self-isolation. The co-founder ... Read More »

Fire-ravaged parishes show courage and ‘generosity of spirit’ in the face of loss and trauma

PRIESTS working in Australia’s worst bushfire-ravaged districts have praised the courage and “generosity of spirit” of their communities. But with more heatwave conditions expected, they have warned of the long-term impact of disaster trauma. “We have parishioners fighting fires, those who have lost their homes, and those who are playing a part with the evacuation centres,” Fr Luke Verrell said ... Read More »

James Anderson is uncovering the mystery of the historic book in his late father’s hanky drawer

MONTHS after his father John Keith Anderson died, Geebung parishioner James Anderson was sorting through his dad’s old handkerchief drawer when he found three mysterious items – an old car VIN plate, a roll of 35mm film and a Plenary Council 1937 Catholic Catechism booklet. It was the latter that stumped Mr Anderson. The booklet contained prayers, a question-and-answer catechism ... Read More »

Parish community vows to restore St Columba’s to near-original shape

St Columba's church

IT took a lightning bolt to push the faithful keepers of St Columba’s Church, Wilston, into an action plan to ensure the sacred icon stays standing for another 100 years. Last year lightning struck the 104-year-old church, which is part of the Good Samaritan Parish and St John the Baptist Parish, prompting the community to launch a three-year plan to ... Read More »

St Agatha’s faithful servants reflect on 100 years of history in Clayfield

Peter Bowden

RUMOUR has it sacristan Peter Bowden lives in a cupboard somewhere inside St Agatha’s Church, Clayfield. At least, that’s the parish priest’s only explanation for the 74-year-old’s permanent presence in the church. An ever-present figure in the parish community, which turns 100 this year, Mr Bowden opens and closes the church every day, and attends all the week day and ... Read More »

Canadian parish coach says stop catechising, start evangelising at Proclaim

Ron Huntley

CONVINCING an atheist or lapsed Catholic to fall in love with Jesus Christ begins with recognising that “people don’t care” about catechesis, Canadian parish coach Ron Huntley said. Speaking at the 2018 Proclaim Conference in Brisbane, Mr Huntley said the reason why the Church was not growing boiled down to a fundamental truth, that people don’t care about being taught ... Read More »

Proclaim Conference explores new ways of contemplating the face of Christ

Archbishop Coleridge

THIS is a spirit moment for the Church, Archbishop Mark Coleridge has told the Proclaim 2018 conference in Brisbane, challenging Catholic delegates to renew and rejuvenate the Church in Australia. “I am intensely conscious as I sat amongst you that I face the danger of being pale, male and stale,” Archbishop Coleridge said. “Here at Proclaim what we set ourselves ... Read More »

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