News

Christmas Message 2020 from Bishop Shane

BishopSHaneChristmas125pxAt Christmas, we celebrate Jesus as the light who comes in our darkness. This year, perhaps more than ever, we are aware of how much we need that light.  Bishop Shane Mackinlay

Father DJ Our Newest Priest

DJ ORdination Hero 125After 48 hours as a priest, Fr Denib Suguitan (DJ) reflects on his Ordination to the priesthood. "If there is one thing I have learned over the weekend, it is the fact that God never ceases to amaze us, as long as we let ourselves be amazed. He works so mysteriously that it takes a while to understand his ways".

Third Time Around, Fr DJ is at Last Ordained!

DJ 2BishopsOrdination 125Fr DJ Suguitan has been ordained a priest for the Sandhurst Diocese after his priestly ordination was postponed twice due to COVID-19. Seminarian, Jackson Saunders, reflects on DJ’s ordination to the priesthood and his First Mass.

The View from Home

Jackson 12Dec 125By Jackson Saunders

In a year of moves aplenty, sixth-year seminarian Jackson Saunders, reflects back on 2020. The year began in Rome and is ending in Echuca, with other stints in between tat Wangaratta and St Kilian’s in Bendigo.

Sandhurst Parishes that are Joyful, Hope-filled, Servant Communities

Plenary Joy 125"How is God Calling Us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is a: Joyful, hope-filled and servant community?"

Lyn Breen reports on the online Sandhurst Plenary session held on 9 December. There were many practical suggestions put forward by people from parishes across our diocese.

Mass for You at Home continues in 2021

MassForYouAthome 125Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli has confirmed that 'Mass for You at Home' will continue to air on Network Ten and in regional areas and on pay television through Aurora. It will also be available online on demand.

International Day of People with a Disability

Wheelchair 125By Mary Pianta

"Though it takes effort to fully include everyone, according to their own gifts and talents, the active participation of people with disabilities can greatly enrich the life of the whole parish”.   Pope Francis in his Message for International Day of People with a Disability. 

Stronger Tonight Rally

StrongerTonight 125Sandhurst Youth mustered online for the second 'Stronger Tonight' Rally which was live-streamed over the weekend,  Hosted by recent St Mary of the Angels Secondary College graduate, Brad Skidmore, participants celebrated with music, discussion and a little bit of Christmas cheer.  Kristian Joy Tangso reports on her first Stronger Rally in Sandhurst, and the final youth celebration of 2020, connecting the annual theme “Greater Heights” with the coming Christmas season.

Catholic Education in Good Hands

Catholic Education Sandhurst limitedBishop Shane Mackinlay last week announced the membership of the inaugural boards for Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd (CES) and Sandhurst Early Childhood Education and Care Ltd (SCECE&C). "I am very encouraged by the calibre of people who have accepted positions on these Boards," said Bishop Shane.  The directors of these companies will lead Catholic Education and Early Childhood Education and Care in the Diocese into a new era of governance from 1 January 2021.

Like a Puppet on a String

Written by Fr Michael Grace 'Like a Puppet on a String' is the sort of poem you will want to print and savour during Summer holiday afternoons of quiet contemplation.

God is with us

Girl and Sky 125As we move into the Season of Christmas, Cathy Jenkins reflects on what this Advent pandemic waiting time has meant for us. As Christmas approaches we are reminded to that the Emmanuel, God-with-us, accompanies us and propels us to move forward with hope into whatever the future might bring.

Hold loved ones close

HoldLovedOnesClose 125Lyn Breen  offers ways for us to hold loved ones close this Christmas. Not only those who are far away, but also those with whom relationships are damaged or difficult. Through Circles of blessing and prayer we “remember each individual in turn, hold them in our heart and imagine lifting them up to God's love and blessing."

Our Priestly Poet, Fr Michael Grace

FrMichaelGrace 125Fr Michael Grace loves to write poetry and has generously agreed to share his poems with us in the Sandpiper e-News.  Lyrical, funny and poignant, his poems are often about the people and places of our Diocese, many were written for special occasions.

It seems 'Grace' is not only a name most apt  for a priest, but also fitting for a poet.   We trust you will enjoy the wonderful world of Fr Michael's poetry.

The Ordination to the Order of Presbyters of Rev. Denib Josette Mina Suguitan

DJ Diaconate Ordination 125It's fair to say that Rev. Denib Suguitan (DJ) is one of Sandhurst's most experienced and patient Deacons.  It has been over fourteen months since DJ was ordained a Deacon by Bishop Leslie Tomlinson in Manila, and 12 December 2020 will be the third date set for his priestly ordination, following postponements in July and September.

Gordon McKern OAM RIP

GordonMcKern 125Bishop Shane Mackinlay, Clergy, Chancery Staff and Parishioners of the Diocese of Sandhurst extend their deepest sympathies to the McKern Family on the death of Gordon. 


Gordon was the inaugural Chairman of the Aspire Cultural & Charitable Foundation. He was active in many initiatives of the Diocese of Sandhurst. Like many other communities in our region, our community has been the beneficiary of Gordon’s vision and leadership. 

'The Other Marys' Webinar

TheOtherMarysWebinar 125To celebrate the tenth Anniversary of the Canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the Australian Embassy to the Holy See, jointly with the British Embassy to the Holy See, are presenting a webinar on:
The Other Marys: St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and The Venerable Mary Ward. Friday 4 December 2020 at 10:00 am, Rome time.

'When This is All Over' – Looking Back and Looking Forward

WomanPrayingOutdoorsLyn Breen  reflects on the past liturgical year in which there were many reminders that life will always be filled with surprises.  As we move beyond 2020, Lyn offers two simple prayerful activities to help us reflect on these questions:  'When this is all over' can we become more attentive to other people in our lives? Can we deepen our awareness of the ways God comes to meet us?

It has been A Year of Sorrowful Longing and Waiting.

LongingWaitingBy Cathy Jenkins

And now it is Advent. A time that is observed as a joyful waiting time. I wonder if it helps to remember that we are not the only people who have had the experience of longing and waiting. Our ancestors in faith were practised in this way of being – and Advent, in a most particular way reminds us of this.

What does it mean to be an Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal Church?

Plenary1 125Ruth Lawlor reports on the first Plenary Reflection Session, which explored the theme 'Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal.'  It is encouraging to hear that most participants felt Sandhurst communities are on the right path. Nevertheless, it was agreed that more can be done to help us stay connected to our communities and as communities and to ensure everyone feels included and is able to participate.  

Latest "Youth Pathways 2021" released

Youth Pathways 2021 125pxThe latest edition of ‘Youth Pathways 2021’ has arrived for schools and parishes across the Sandhurst Diocese.

Latest "Pathways for Seniors 2021" released

Pathways for Seniors 2021 125pxWe hope you enjoy exploring Pathways for Seniors 2021 online via computer, smart ‘phone or tablet!

Advent Leaflets 2020

Advent 2020 125pxLyn Breen, the Adult Faith Education officer of the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst has produced a new series of Advent resources to use within Parishes during the Advent season.  Click the "Read More" link below to view the resources.

Fire Carriers at St Mary’s Mooroopna

FireCarrier3A number of children at St Mary’s Mooroopna were commissioned as FIRE Carriers earlier in the term. Congratulations to Noah Kennedy, Sienna Smith, Xavier Morgan, Eden Woodward, Lila Kate Nierderle, Charla Varapodio and Darcy Shannahan. 

These Grade Six students have been great leaders for the school and also been fine role models as FIRE Carriers.

Videos Online for Advent and Christmas 2020

AdventCandleBy Lyn Breen 

If Christmas movies are a ‘must’ for you and your family to get into the spirit of Christmas, there are new online opportunities to revisit stories of Jesus and the first Christmas.

Pastoral Associates' Network online in 2020

PastoralAssociates Carmel Alma square125By Lyn Breen

Sandhurst Pastoral Associates have been at the coal face when Parishes have had to make decisions about opening churches or changing the way we experience church this year. To help them to support one another during this challenging year, members of the SPAs network have moved online to continue meeting via Zoom.

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