Stained Glass Windows

John 13:34

love one another as I have loved you

John 13:34

Saturday, October 28, 2017

CHOSEN Advent & Christmas Reflections 2017 | SELLING FAST!

Chosen - Advent and Christmas Reflections 2017

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong
Buy Now

We have begun shipping orders for Chosen – Daily Advent and Christmas Reflections 2017 with bulk pricing for GST Free Catholic Religious Groups starting from only $3.00 per book. Get your copies today as they are selling fast!

Continuing the tradition from past years, Chosen is a 72 page pocket-size book containing short daily reflections from the beginning of Advent (3 December 2017) through to the Baptism of the Lord (8 January 2018) primarily for personal use, but also appropriate for group use such as parish, Church agency, religious community and school staff/class prayer.

Chosen also features beautiful religious artworks from the Masters such as Fasolo, Veronese, De Favanne, Bloch, Lotto and Perugino, with enlightening "Artwork Spotlight" reflections written by Fr Graham Schmitzer (Parish Priest, Immaculate Conception Parish Unanderra).

Many customers buy bulk copies of the book for family, friends and work colleagues as an alternative to Christmas cards and gifts. We have included a page in the book for you to write your gift message.

These spiritually rich, yet accessible, daily reflections have been written by 14 contributors from the Diocese of Wollongong:

  • Bishop Peter Ingham (Bishop of Wollongong)
  • Mr James Arblaster (Seminarian for the Diocese of Wollongong)
  • Mr Ken Bryant (Head of Catholic Life, Education and Mission Services, Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong)
  • Fr Mark De Battista (Administrator, St Anthony's Parish, Tahmoor-Picton)
  • Fr Leo Duck (Priest in Residence, Holy Spirit Church Vincentia)
  • Mrs Robyn Gallagher (Professional Officer, Staff Spiritual Formation, Catholic Education, Diocese of Wollongong)
  • Mr Peter Gilmore (CCD & Evangelisation Coordinator, Diocese of Wollongong)
  • Fr Richard Healey (Parish Priest, St Paul's Parish, Albion Park)
  • Mr Jude Hennessy (Director of the Office of Renewal and Evangelisation, Diocese of Wollongong)
  • Miss Trish McCarthy (CCD & Evangelisation Coordinator, Diocese of Wollongong)
  • Sr Margaret Paton RSJ (Pastoral Associate, Immaculate Conception Parish, Unanderra)
  • Fr Christopher G Sarkis (Parish Priest, Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, Rosemeadow)
  • Sr Hilda Scott OSB (Vocations Director, Benedictine Abbey Jamberoo)
  • Ms Michelle Vass (Director of St Mary's Towers Retreat Centre, Douglas Park)


We have also included special discounted prices for bulk orders as well as a GST Free option for Catholic Religious Groups (eg, Catholic parishes, schools and religious communities):


Qty GST Free Catholic Group
AU (+ post)
Retail (inc GST)
AU (+ post)
1 - 24 $4.00 $4.40
25 - 49 $3.50 $3.85
50 + $3.00 $3.30

If you have any questions, or if you would like to place a phone or email order, please contact us on (02) 4222 2400 or email us at

Delivery of the books has commenced.

Please note, if you live in the Diocese of Wollongong, please check with your parish, school, agency or religious order before ordering as they may be ordering copies on your behalf.

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong


Catholic Diocese of Wollongong · PO Box 1239 · Wollongong, Nsw 2500 · Australia

FAITH CIRCLES November 2017 | Free weekly small group resource

Faith Circles

Available for Download Now!

We are pleased to provide you with your monthly batch of Faith Circles for the four weeks of November 2017 spanning the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time to Christ the King, Year A.

As usual, we are blessed in Faith Circles with the wonderful words of Pope Francis as well as insightful reflection questions written by our very own CCD & Evangelisation Coordinator, Mr Peter Gilmore.

If you know someone who would like to receive Faith Circles, ask that they sign up at

Download here:

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Yr A) - Integrity in Word & Action
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Yr A) - Being Prepared
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Yr A) - Sharing our Gifts
Christ the King (Yr A) - Judged on Love & Service


We usually attend church in rows, often with limited interaction with our sisters and brothers in Christ. As the name suggests, Faith Circles aims to turn these rows into circles, bringing about:

  • A sense of belonging and sharing of life through the lens of faith
  • A growing knowledge of faith
  • Group and personal prayerfulness and encounter with the risen Lord
  • Growing confidence to share faith with others
  • A place to invite people who are not attending church but who want to grow in faith.


We've all heard the saying three's a crowd. When Catholics come together in faith there is always an additional presence, as the Lord is true to his promise that, "For where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them." (Matthew 18:20) For this reason we are encouraging people to form Faith Circles in their church community.


Faith Circles are easy to start. Just get two or more people keen to share faith and life and pick a time and a place to regularly meet. Sign up for our emails and we will send it to you, for free! You can then print the handout or maybe just read it straight off a smart-phone or tablet!

We are meant to be a growing Church! Faith Circles isn't meant to be a closed club! Yes, it is a great resource to nurture those who come to Mass, but more importantly, Faith Circles provides a forum to draw back people disconnected from Church because of the welcome and care of a small group and an encounter with Jesus through prayer.

In other words, if your group isn't growing over time, you are doing it wrong! When groups get to 6-8 people it is time to start talking about splitting, and figure out as a group, who you are going to invite to join you next?

You might start Faith Circles with members of your Lenten or Advent group. You might kick it off with three or four people you have coffee with. You may have some friends who love a morning walk, or a group of teachers who want to come together for prayer, well Faith Circles can be the catalyst for sharing life and faith together, and a deepening walk with Jesus. It doesn't matter if you go for five minutes or an hour, the Holy Spirit turns up when we come together!


We have published a great resource giving tips on how to start and run a Faith Circles small group in your community setting. Click here to download the resource.

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong · PO Box 1239 · Wollongong, Nsw 2500 · Australia

Call for CSA support service funding, WA Bar Association speech, Yarra Theological Union Panel, Frankly Speaking and more

Welcome to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council eNewsletter

October 2017
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Call for church funding for support services

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, has called on Catholic Church leaders to consider funding independent Church-related child sexual abuse support services.

Speaking at the Pioneer Room in St Mary's Parish, Geelong, Mr Sullivan said organisations like Lifeboat and In Good Faith, the pastoral support services for victims and survivors of Church-related sexual abuse, are working hard with limited resources.

Call for Church funding for independent Catholic-related support services for child sexual abuse survivors
TJHC media release  - 20 October 2017


WA Bar Association - National Redress, Royal Commission

CEO of the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, has told a group of Western Australian lawyers and barristers that advice provided by lawyers and passively accepted by church leaders had significantly compounded the clerical sexual abuse crisis.

Speech - WA Bar Association
Francis Sullivan - 10 October 2017

Interview (43.30)
ABC Perth Mornings - 10 October 2017

TJHC CEO addresses WA Bar association on child sexual abuse crisis in Catholic Church
TJHC media release - 25 October 2017

Head of Catholic Church body talks candidly to Jon Faine
ABC Melbourne Mornings - 12 October 2017


Frankly speaking...

Over these past weeks I have been giving presentations on the work of the Council in various parish and professional settings around Australia. It is fair to say that there is intense interest in the 'where to from here' question.

The Royal Commission's final report is much anticipated. It is due to governments on 15 December this year and we can be confident that the Commission will meet that date.

Given the magnitude of this inquiry we can assume that the report will be long and comprehensive! Unsurprisingly, a significant slab of it will be about the Catholic Church.

Latest from the Council

IPSOS global study shows half think religion does more harm than good

A bigger share of Australians than respondents in most other countries think religion does more harm than good in the world, new polling has revealed, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

But we are also more comfortable with religious diversity than the international average.

The survey of more than 17,000 people across 23 countries by polling firm Ipsos found opinion is evenly divided about the influence that religion has in society.

IPSOS Report

IPSOS global research shows half think religion does more harm than good
IPSOS Summary - 12 October

Australians think religion does more harm than good in the world
SMH - 12 October 2017

Yarra Theological Union - child sexual abuse, power and the Royal Commission

A community forum at the Yarra Theological Union in Box Hill earlier this month heard three respected Church leaders talk about the impact of the child sexual abuse crisis on the Church from the perspective of a Bishop, an educator and the head of the Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council.

Panel of church leaders discuss child sexual abuse crisis and way forward for Catholic Church
TJHC media release  - 13 October 2017

Listen to the addesses at the event from:
Francis Sullivan, CEO Truth Justice and Healing Council
Maria Kirkwood, Director Catholic Education, Sale Diocese
Vincent Long, Bishop Parramatta



Report into problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools released

The Royal Commission has released its report into Case Study 45 which examined problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools. The report, which looked at The Kings School and Trinity Grammar School in Sydney and Shalom College in Brisbane, commended St Ignatius Riverview in Sydney for its successful approach to bullying prevention in 2014 and 2015. 

This report follows a public hearing held in Sydney in October and November 2016. It is one of the five hearings to indirectly involve the Catholic Church.

Royal Commission Media Release
18 October 2017

Royal Commission Report
October 2017

King's and Trinity Grammar schools failed to support bullied students, royal commission finds
ABC Online - 18 October 2017

Coming up


November 2, Presentation Emaus Catholic Primary School, Ballarat
November 4, Address to Catholic School Parents Australia, Hobart
November 9, Update to MacKillop Family Services Leadership Team Meeting
November 13, TJH Council Meeting, Melbourne
November 14, Address to Catholic Secondary Principals Australia, Adelaide
November 14, Address to Millicent Parish, Mount Gambia
November 27, Address National Directors of Catholic Education, Sydney
December 18, Address Executive Mercy Health Board, Melbourne

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