Home' Aurora : Aurora May 2014 Contents 3
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Last month Bishop Bill wrote about
Lenten obser vance and Catholic customs
and invited r esponses. Mary Blackford of
Bir mingham Gardens wrote in favour of
"positive actions, such as volunteering your
time in the local community, welcoming new
people you see at Mass, especially those
from other countries, attending a weekday
Mass....Perhaps these would be seen as
customs eventually? "
Speaking at the second Newca stle Writer s
Festival last month, Wendy Har mer
suggested that writers' festivals and other
gatherings ser ve the purpose once ser ved
by churches. She didn't dwell on the reasons
for churches and other institutions being
"in disrepair" but insisted that "the hunger
for communion with like -minded souls is
growing". There is an implicit challenge to
churches to respond -- but I suspect it's
happening more widely than Wendy wagers.
A recent repor t in the National Catholic
Reporter (US), "Austr alian church's quiet
r evolution 'had to happen' " by Tom Rober ts ,
examines a r ange of practical r esponses to
current issues faced by parishes. One priest
is quoted as saying, "The parishioner s are
ready for the next stage, the laity are ready
for the nex t stage. .."
You are welcome to share what's happening
in your parish.
Opinions expressed by contributor s are not necessarily those of the Editor or Publisher. Acceptance of adver tisements does not necessarily indicate endor sement of the product or
ser vice.The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in any form without prior written consent from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
AURORA is a member of the Australasian Catholic Press Association and the Australasian Religious Press Association.
Tom Ar thur (left) and Zac Garred with
their 'mate', Les Darcy. Read their story on
page 10. Photograph cour tesy of Melissa
It was good to hear from reader Barbara
Whitcher of Stock ton following the April
edition : "The ar ticle by Fr Aloysious Mowe
was outstanding. I only wish Tony Abbott
and Scott Morrison took note of such
views because they do not show Christian
compassion in anything to do with asylum
seekers. Aurora is a great publication and
it is very good to see it enclosed regularly
with The Newcastle Herald so it reaches a
If you drove along Parry Street Newcastle
on a Thursday after noon during Lent, you
may have seen a small but determined
group of people keeping vigil and
proclaiming compassion and justice towards
asylum seeker s and refugees. The group
-- which welcomes all comer s -- began
meeting again on Thur sdays, 1 May - 5 June,
at the eastern entr ance to the University
of Newcastle, cor ner of University Drive
and Stannett Street. To learn more, please
Recently I read an inter view with American
singer Linda Ronstadt. She commented on
the federal gover nment's policy towards
asylum seeker s : "[Immigr ants] are the best
people because they've come the farthest
and they've come through the wor st
adversity .... you want people who have
been able to deal successfully with adversity.
That's what adds to society. Those are going
to be the hardest-working, best people."
(SMH 12/ 04/14). Sometimes an outsider
sees more than an insider...
Some of the hardest-working, best people I
know are volunteers who keep the wheels
of so many churches, schools and other
organisations turning smoothly. National
Volunteers Week occurs during May
and a number of our stories this month
acknowledge the sterling contribution
of volunteer s in various areas. For these
generous souls , every week is volunteer s'
TRACEY EDSTEIN -- Editor
TWO BY TWO
THE CATHOLIC THING
SEASONS OF GRACE
Next deadline 15 May 2014
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