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Edition 129 / October 2013
witness, see page 5.
Photo courtesy of
"Our people, our stories"
Some will be thinking as they read this, "It's only just
October!" Publishing requires planning, and I'm hoping that
you will be able to enter 'the Christmas zone' in order to
share some stories of 'keeping Christmas'. Do you, or does
your immediate or extended family, observe a particular
Christmas ritual or have a special way of celebrating? Maybe
you remember 'absent friends' ritually, or give some time and
energy to a community group? It's my hope that I will receive
sufficient responses by 10 November to share them in the
December edition, so I look forward to hearing from you.
You may notice in this month's calendar that 11 October is the
International Day of the Girl Child. Even in the third millennium,
there are still nations, cultures and institutions where women
and girls are not accorded the same rights and dignity
as men and boys. I read recently of a school in Indonesia
planning to implement a virginity test for girls. There are so
many challenges to what "we" in the western world consider
acceptable and just, and from time to time Aurora attempts to
inform you about some of these. This month our cover story
concerns a creatively silent witness in solidarity with asylum
seekers and refugees. Perhaps you can participate?
Pope Francis continues to delight us, and I've been reading
Antonio Spadaro SJ's interview with Pope Francis in America:
The National Catholic Review. Fr Spadaro asked the Pope,
"What does the church need most at this historic moment?"
Pope Francis replied, "The thing the church needs most today
is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the
faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a
field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured
person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his
blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk
about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds...
And you have to start from the ground up." This sounds like a
challenge to all of us who call ourselves 'church'. You may be
interested to read more at www.americamagazine.org.
October includes Mental Health Week and I think you will find
"The Issue" by Liz Newton thought provoking. I read recently
that "There is something real and trustworthy about those
who know how to rejoice. The easy ability to celebrate isn't
a bad measure of mental health." (Catholic Adult Education
Centre, Stories for the journey, 1983). I have been celebrating
and you can find out why in this edition. Perhaps the most
rewarding aspect of Aurora's success was simply having
good news to share in a diocese with so much bad news to
bear. I am grateful to those who have shared their delight in
this good news, including the correspondent who described
Aurora as "fresh, bright, in touch with everyday life and a
good healthy blend of faith..." Now do turn the page to read
the latest column from our award-winning Bishop Bill!
Food for thought
Seasons of grace
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TRACEY EDSTEIN -- Editor
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
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