Thursday, 21 March 2019

funeral notice for JOHN LAWRENCE MAHER Friday 22nd March at 10.30 am

MAHER, JOHN LAWRENCE 
Passed away peacefully at home after a long illness on March 18th, 2019 Much loved Husband of Marlene and treasured Father of Tracie-Ann, John and Lisa Jane. John was a proud Grand-Pa of Emme Jane. John will be greatly missed. A Funeral Service will be held to celebrate John s life at Stella Maris Catholic Church, Hedges Ave, Broadbeach on Friday 22nd March at 10.30 am. 


Friday, 15 March 2019

Tragedy in New Zealand

Surfers Paradise Parish joins with all people of goodwill to offer our heartfelt sympathies and prayers for the victims and their families of the horrifying shootings in New Zealand. We pray for peace and respect for human dignity everywhere in the world.  We will keep the people of New Zealand in our prayers.  

Thursday, 14 March 2019

A Reflection inspired by recent turmoil in the Church

"The Priests in my Life"

By Charlotte Grossetête.
France
March 11, 2019

Like many Catholics, I have learned of the clerical sex abuse scandals that have emerged in recent years with horror and disgust.

Like many Catholics, I have suffered at how slow the Church has been in facing up to the scandal.

As a mother, I can clearly imagine the suffering of the children and the parents who have experienced such despicable behavior destroying their lives.

I feel an immense anger at these hypocritical men in Roman collars who have led double lives and betrayed the promises of their priesthood to the greatest extent possible.

They spat on the Lord that they claimed to serve.

They spat on Christ who came for the little ones, the poor, the defenseless, for "the children and those who resemble them"!

Having written and said all this with a broken heart, I would like to summarize what I, a person who has never had to deal with such evil priests, have experienced.

I was 13 in 1990 when I joined in a series of summer camps that became highlights of my adolescence and which gave direction to my life's search for the beautiful and the good.

The priests whom I met there filled me with enthusiasm, energy and hope as well as humility at the level of constant progress needed, which would be difficult to achieve over the course of one's whole life.

That's what priests meant to me in my adolescent life.

I was 19 in 1996 when in a choked voice my philosophy professor read us the testament of Father Christian de Chergé, which had been published the day before.
In the space of two pages, Father de Chergé explained everything from the meaning of a life dedicated to God, to the peace that comes even at the most difficult moments, and respect for another religion, which, properly understood, should not lead to hate.

In my youthful life in search of testimonies, that's what priests meant to me.

I was 20 in 1997 when the Paris Metro took on an exceptional allure. We sang, we laughed and chatted in a whole host of languages at World Youth Day. Nor did the feeling remain ephemeral.
Afterwards, prayer, reflection and sharing groups formed.

I got to know tremendously knowledgeable priests, who "opened up my heart to understanding the Scriptures."

They were profound, wise men of prayer, who transmitted to me the joy of combining my faith with reason.

In my student life, that's what priests meant.

I was 24 in 2001 when the chaplain at the Institute of Political Science took our group to India to help build houses in a Dalit village.
There, I got to know Father Pierre Ceyrac, who, refused a well deserved retirement. He continued to endlessly spend himself in the battle against misery to which so many priests have given and still give their lives.

That's what priests meant in my life as a young woman.

I was 32 in 2009 when our discrete, gentle and ever present priest accompanied us in the loss of a child.

He appreciated how to offer the balm of hope to a deep wound. Although hope cannot hide the bruises, it does help remind us that the doors to Eternal Life are still open.

In our society, which avoids the issue of death as much as possible, priests are among those who light a flame in the midst of shadows when we are confronted with death.

In my life as a mourning mum, that's what priests meant to me.

I certainly do not idealize the person of the priest, even though I have been lucky enough to only meet good priests.

I have too many friends and cousins who have become priests over the years to believe that they are perfect.

And they laugh if I allow them to be enveloped in any kind of aurora. Clericalism exists here and there, but not around me.

The priests whom I know are gifted with beautiful balance and a "sacredness" sprinkled with self-deprecating humor.

They will need such humor and balance to deal with frequent insults in these difficult times. If it's not you, it's your brother, people will say. Wearing a Roman collar in the street today is to expose oneself to suspicion and to accusation without any presumption of innocence.

However, I also believe that, as difficult as this is for priests who are irreproachable to the highest level possible, the current ordeal is necessary for the Church to advance, freed from an insidious gangrene.

Even when gangrene does not affect every limb of the body it can still cause death.

The crimes of some priests, the silence of others who sought to stop the infection by denying it – all this leads to death. The Church now has the opportunity to choose life.

I have confidence that the priests of today will take up the challenge by cherishing and honoring the call they received on the day of their ordination as deacons. This is a call to transparency and to personal coherence.

"Receive the Gospel of Christ that it is your mission to announce. Be careful to believe in the Word that you read, to teach what you believe and to live out what you teach," the text reads.

Thus, they will become servants of Jesus Christ, faithful to their vocation and to the world's expectations.

They will be committed to sharing the message they have received, from which I have also greatly benefited myself owing to the work of many good priests, namely the gift of a Christian faith which invites to build a better, more just and loving world.

(Charlotte Grossetête is a writer and publisher).

Article originally published: https://international.la-croix.com/news/the-priests-in-my-life/9635

Thursday, 7 March 2019

INFORMATION ON PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS WITHIN THE CHURCH AND PROTECTION POLICIES:

Professional Standards Brochure


Towards Healing Brochure

Professional Standards Office Queensland

Vision

All pastoral ministries performed on behalf of the Catholic Church in Queensland are carried out in a safe and ethical manner.

Purpose

Reduce the opportunity for pastoral misconduct within Queensland and manage misconduct complaints in a fair and effective manner.

Values

  • Integrity and impartiality
  • Fairness and respect
  • Responsiveness and diligence
  • Partnerships

Objectives

  1. Church Authorities in Queensland improve safeguarding practices.
  2. Church Authorities in Queensland improve decision-making and complaints
    management practices.
  3. Improve opportunities for individuals to raise and resolve complaints.
  4. Fair and effective management of pastoral misconduct complaints.

Our Commitment

The Professional Standards Office will provide stewardship in our approach embedding safe and ethical practices, responding to incidents of abuse and misconduct and managing complaints to resolution.
The Professional Standards Office will provide a professional, fair and impartial case management service for the resolution of complaints of abuse and misconduct.
The Professional Standards Office will be responsive to incidents and events when notified and provide assistance where possible.
The Professional Standards Office will work in partnership and collaboration with Church Authorities in implementing and improving safe and ethical practices, responding to incidents of abuse and misconduct and managing complaints to resolution.

Governance

The Professional Standards Office is overviewed by and reports to a Professional Standards Liaison Committee established by the representatives of the Dioceses and Religious Orders of Queensland on behalf of the Conference of Queensland Bishops and Catholic Religious Australia (Queensland).



For more information, please visit:   http://psoqld.catholic.net.au/

Sunday, 3 March 2019

OUR MASS TIMES FOR ASH WEDNESDAY

OUR MASS TIMES FOR ASH WEDNESDAY, 6TH MARCH 2019: 

7am in St Vincent’s Church, 40 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise.

9am in Stella Maris Church, 254 Hedges Avenue, Broadbeach.

9am and 6pm in Sacred Heart Church, 50 Fairway Drive, Clear Island Waters.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Statement from Archbishop Mark Coleridge. Archbishop of Brisbane.

Statement from Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Statement from Archbishop Mark Coleridge RE: the verdict in the Cardinal Pell case:

The news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has shocked many across Australia and around the world, including the Catholic Bishops of Australia. The Bishops agree that everyone should be equal under the law, and we respect the Australian legal system. The same legal system that delivered the verdict will consider the appeal that the Cardinal’s legal team has lodged. Our hope, at all times, is that through this process, justice will be served.


In the meantime, we pray for all those who have been abused and their loved ones, and we commit ourselves anew to doing everything possible to ensure that the Church is a safe place for all, especially the young and the vulnerable.




A message  to the entire community of the Archdiocese of Brisbane

These last few weeks have been bruising for the Catholic Church in Australia. It seems that everywhere we turn we see stories about the Church and its failures with child sexual abuse.
We have to accept that. The Church will never walk away from its responsibilities in this area. We have much to atone for. We have much to do and much to continue learning.
But today I want to say a word about the Church that’s almost never mentioned in mainstream media. It’s the Church that you’re part of every day and, often enough, through the night as well. Because of what you do, the Church changes lives for the better, and it does so through the power of the Gospel. Yes, we face serious challenges now, but there is a whole dimension of the Church that should never be forgotten.
It’s the Church that works every day with refugees who have come to Australia seeking a better life. You help them to find accommodation, to fight for a permanent stay and to reunite with loved ones.
It’s the Church that works on the frontline with domestic violence victims. You help them and their children in the toughest moments that they will face. You walk with them at every step, especially when they feel helpless.
It’s the Church that works with Australians with a disability. You help create a society that welcomes, includes and respects people with a disability as people first – and you support them to follow their dreams.
It’s the Church that works with people on the poverty line. You provide them with accommodation, meals and support when they have nowhere else to turn.
It’s the Church that works with the homeless. You bring a friendly smile, food and warmth to them. Most of all, you help by spending time with them.
It’s the Church that works with people living with dementia. You brighten their lives, you relate to the real person and you provide support for their families.
It’s the Church that provides pastoral support to prisoners. You sit with them, listen to their stories and provide counselling.
It’s the Church that works to protect our environment. You help raise awareness of our common home, the earth on which we live and the need to preserve it for those who come after us.
Of course, it’s the Church that has educated millions of Australian children over generations. Your work in that area continues to have a major impact on our young people and the future of our country.
And it’s the Church that has provided first-class medical treatment in our hospitals for generations. You have literally saved lives and continue to save lives. You have also accompanied the dying with tender care.
Thank you for all this and more – because that’s not an exhaustive list of what you do from day to day in the Catholic Church.

At this time, I wanted you to know that your work is priceless and that it does not go unrecognised.
Thank you for your work in parishes, schools, hospitals and on the frontline wherever it may be.
It’s work that should make you both proud and humble - proud for what has been achieved and humble before the God whose gifts make it all possible and who is as close to us now as ever before.

+ Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane.

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Reflection by Fr Paul
Surfers Paradise: -

In this time of distress and turmoil, the vital thing is for us all to keep our eyes and our hearts firmly fixed on the example and message of Jesus.  Christ and gospel show us clearly God's priorities and values. This reveals Jesus' profound concern for the poor,  the vulnerable,  and the abused. Our Lord demands justice,  peace, and healing for those wronged.  These are extremely uncertain and upsetting times,  and we need more than ever to stay focused on Christ’s priorities of practical action,  respect, and unrelenting protection of human dignity, (particularly the young as well as vulnerable adults). Also, respectful listening and understanding, and leadership that serves the needs of people in need. We continue to pray and work for Christ's vision to be fully present for all people.