Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 1 2022 Year in Review CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF SANDHURST
2 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 1 The Diocese of Sandhurst recognises the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we live, serve and worship. We acknowledge the people of the Northeastern regions of our Diocese, Djilmathang, Minjajambuta, Duduroa and Waywurru. We acknowledge the people of the Southern regions of our Diocese, the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungerung. We acknowledge the people of the Northern regions of our Diocese, the Yorta Yorta and Bangerang. We acknowledge the people of the Western regions of our Diocese, the Baraparapa peoples. We respectfully honour and acknowledge their ongoing custodianship and their connections to the land, waters and animals. We pay our respects to their culture, their Elders, past, present and emerging, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes of their peoples. We express our gratitude in the sharing of this land, our sorrow for the personal, spiritual and cultural costs of that sharing and commit ourselves to actively working alongside First Nations People for healing, reconciliation and justice. Acknowledgement of Country
2 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst www.sandhurst.catholic.org.au firstname.lastname@example.org 172-174 McCrae Street Bendigo VIC 3550 PO Box 201 Bendigo VIC 3552 T: 03 5445 3600 Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd www.ceosand.catholic.edu.au email@example.com Bendigo Office 120 Hargreaves Street Bendigo Victoria 3550 PO Box 477 Bendigo VIC 3552 T: 03 5443 2377 Tatura Office 74 Hogan St Tatura VIC 3616 T: 03 5831 3811 Wangaratta Office 71 Ryley Street Wangaratta Victoria 3677 PO Box 1181 Wangaratta VIC 3677 T: 03 5723 0000 CatholicCare Victoria www.catholiccarevic.org.au 4 - 6 Peel Street Nth Ballarat Victoria 3350 PO Box 2537 Bakery Hill VIC 3354 T: 03 5337 8999 Diocesan Development Fund www.sandhurst.catholic.org.au/ddfsandhurst firstname.lastname@example.org 172-174 McCrae Street Bendigo VIC 3550 PO Box 201 Bendigo VIC 3552 T: 03 5445 3606
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 3 CONTENTS Year in Review ON THE COVER Hanging in natures gallery ‘The World in Our Hands’, winner of the Bishops’ Choice Award, in the 2022 MacKillop Art Awards by Shaye Couch, Year 10, Catherine McAuley College, Bendigo, story pages 36, 37. OUR ORGANISATION 4 Ministries of the Diocesan Church 6 The Diocese Area Map, History REPORTS FROM: 8 Most Rev. Shane Mackinlay, Bishop of Sandhurst 10 Chris Cotter, CDOS Director of Mission and Pastoral Life 14 Cameron Fraser, CDOS Business Manager 16 Paul Desmond, CES Ltd, Chief Executive Officer 18 Sandhurst Catholic Early Childhood Education and Care Ltd 20 Very Rev. Brian Boyle, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Director, Clergy Life and Ministry Sandhurst Diocese 22 Ruth Lawlor Sandhurst Youth Ministry 24 Anne McIntosh, Diocesan Safeguarding Officer 26 CatholicCare Victoria 29 Rev. Jake Mudge Corpus Christi College COMMUNITY 30 Ordination Rev Jackson Saunders 31 2022 Jubilarians 32 In Memoriam 33 Retirement of Lyn Breen 33 Knights of the Southern Cross MISSION 34 Catholic Earthcare 35 Mission & Pastoral Life Scripture Talks Theology Scholarships 36 Mackillop Art Awards 38 Financial performance
4 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 MINISTRIES OF THE DIOCESAN CHURCH • Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament • Adult Faith Education • Anointing Mass • Baptism • Caritas Australia - Sandhurst Diocese • CatholicCare Victoria • Catholic Charismatic Renewal • Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd - Bendigo, Tatura & Wangaratta • Catholic Mission • Clergy, Life and Ministry • Council of Priests • Diocesan Archives • Diocesan College of Consultors • Diocesan Development Fund • Diocesan Finance Council • Diocesan Social Justice Committee • Diocesan Vocations Ministry • Funeral Ministry • Home Masses • Home Visitation Groups • Hospitality, Catering and Welcoming Groups • Knights of the Southern Cross • Legion of Mary View from feathertop, Sandhurst Diocese
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 5 Our Organisation • Lenten and Advent Groups • MenALIVE • Music Team/Choir • Pastoral Associates Network • Pastoral Care Teams • Prayer Groups • Pre-Marriage Workshops • Priests Retirement Foundation for the Diocese of Sandhurst • Prison Chaplaincy • Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Forum • Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation for the Diocese of Sandhurst • Rosary Groups • Sacramental Programs • Sandhurst Catholic Education Council • Sandhurst Clergy Health and Well-being • Sandhurst Youth Ministry Team • Sandpiper e-News • School Masses • Serra Club • Social Groups • Spirituality in the Pub • Stronger Retreat, Rallies and Discipleship Groups • St Vincent de Paul Conferences • Teams of Our Lady • Youth Ministry Groups
6 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 The Diocese of Sandhurst represents the Catholic Church in a region in Victoria bounded on the north and east by the River Murray, extending from Kerang to Corryong and as far inland as Euroa and Bright covering 45,196 sq. kms. A diocese is simply a community of Christ's faithful – it represents a portion of the people of God in a particular area, which is entrusted to a bishop. In the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst, Bishop Shane Mackinlay is the pastoral leader of more than 90,000 Catholics. He is assisted by priests who minister in 40 parishes within the diocese. The parishes are grouped into three deaneries, the Western, Goulburn Valley and North Eastern. Our diocese’s vision is ‘that every person’s heart be inflamed by the love of God’. We welcome all who would like to join our communities or be guided by the principles and teachings of Christ.
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 7 Diocese of Sandhurst 380,584 Total Population 90,189 Catholics in region 49 Clergy 8 Religious Congregations 34 Religious 40 Parishes 56 Schools 19,577 Students 1 Hospital 6 Nursing and Convalescence Homes
8 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 Throughout 2022, COVID 19 has continued to cast its shadow across our lives. Most of us have spent the year constantly looking over our shoulder, hoping not to get caught by infection and illness. Even those who haven’t been sick themselves know many others close to them who have been ill, which has impacted all our families, parishes, schools and workplaces. We’ve all become very used to our plans being interrupted, with lastminute changes, apologies and cancellations. For large numbers in our Diocese and other parts of the country, the floods of October and November interrupted everything else, while communities watched with growing anxiety as the waters slowly rose, and then eventually fell again, exposing the damage that had been caused. As the year ended, many people still had not been able to return home and were facing months of house repairs and difficult decisions, before they could return to their normal lives. In the midst of these challenges, our communities have made great efforts to resume many of their normal activities, and many have also taken new initiatives. I have been able to visit our parishes and schools more regularly and have appreciated the commitment I have seen to renewing and enriching our shared life of faith. Early in the year, we were saddened by the deaths of Father Ted Harte and Father Owen Doyle, bringing to an end their many years of faithful service in the Diocese. We also farewelled Father Pompeyo Tan, who relocated to the USA, where his mother and siblings have now settled. At about the same time, Father Jophin Joy and Father Uday Marneni arrived to commence ministry in the Diocese alongside the other two members of their congregation already serving here. Then, in March we celebrated the ordination of Father Jackson Saunders, and in August we welcomed Father Adi Indra back from Rome to take up his first parish appointment. Finally, just in time for Christmas, Monsignor Crisologo Manongas arrived from the Philippines to begin ministry among us. For the Church in Australia, the major event of the year has been the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council, which was held in person in Sydney and concluded a 4-year journey in which over 220,000 Catholics participated directly. As well as approving eight significant decrees, the Plenary Council formed all of us in a decision-making process that was built on collaborative and prayerful discernment. I have been delighted to see the many initiatives underway in this Diocese and elsewhere to implement the Council’s decrees and to introduce its commitment to discernment into other structures and contexts. Alongside the Plenary Council, we have also been involved in local and national consultations “Building connections with people from other parts of the Church” BISHOP SHANE MACKINLAY From
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 9 Sandhurst Diocese Reports Most Rev. Shane Mackinlay DD Bishop of Sandhurst preparing for the Synod for a Synodal Church to which Pope Francis has called us. It is clear that the process leading up to the Assemblies of the Synod in 2023 and 2024 is giving us a tremendous opportunity to become more synodal and participatory in many other aspects of our life together. I was very fortunate to be able to travel overseas in September and October for a range of events that were valuable opportunities for learning, renewal, and building connections with people from other parts of the Church. First, I participated in a formation program for new bishops in Rome, where I joined 150 other bishops from around the world who had been ordained in the last few years. I then visited the mother house of the Community of the Sons and Daughters of God outside Florence, thanking them for their ongoing commitment to the presence in Dookie of Fr Doroteo Bravi and Br Massimo Chang. Following in the footsteps of many others from the Diocese of Sandhurst, I then visited the Archdiocese of Paderborn, honouring the pioneering contribution of Dr Henry Backhaus, the first priest on the Bendigo goldfields. Finally, I returned to Rome to participate in an international research group arranged by Australian Catholic University on the theology of priesthood, and for a meeting of the international MethodistCatholic ecumenical commission that I have been asked to co-chair. Over the time that I was away, consultation meetings began in our parishes as part of the preparation for establishing a Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council. I have been delighted to hear of the interest and enthusiasm that has been expressed in our communities during these meetings, and the many ideas and suggestions for how the Council might operate. This process has laid a good foundation for the Diocesan Assembly next year, where we will commence the final stage of establishing the Council. Pope Francis has asked us to walk together as missionary disciples of Jesus, affirming his presence and love, and proclaiming his Gospel in our world. I am grateful for all the ways that our communities, schools and agencies have contributed to that mission during this year, across the Diocese of Sandhurst.
10 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 This year the Church doors have indeed been open. Whilst the pandemic is still with us and we continue to take precautions, especially for the most vulnerable, for the most part we have been able to reconnect with one another face to face in our communities and our places of worship. The removal of restrictions has allowed us to experience in a personal and tangible way those different senses of ‘Church’: a consecrated people gathered in a consecrated building. As Pope Francis reminds us in The Joy of the Gospel, the ‘doors are open’ because we are a Church that ‘goes forth’. We are a missionary Church, sent out to reach everyone: “We have to regard ourselves as sealed, even branded, by this mission of bringing light, blessing, enlivening, raising up, healing and freeing” (The Joy of the Gospel, 273). My work and the work of the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Life Team has been encouraged and inspired by this vision. It has been my privilege to lead the Mission and Pastoral Life Team in 2022: Ruth Lawlor (Youth Ministry Coordinator) and Katrina Strong (Communications Officer). Both Ruth and Katrina have undertaken important work in their discrete areas of responsibility and on our team projects. With a significant number of projects for the team, either under way or on the horizon, we welcomed Mrs Leslie Cooper in a part-time capacity as Mission and Pastoral Life Team Project Officer in August. We are still seeking to recruit suitably qualified and experienced team members to fill vacancies in Formation for Mission and in Youth Ministry roles, and hope to do so early in the new year. Our year began with a Zoom farewell to Lyn Breen, Adult Faith Education Coordinator and a long-serving staff member in the Chancery. Fr Brian Boyle EV, Alma Limbrick (Kyabram), Fr Rom Hayes and Sr Cecilia Merrigan CSB (Echuca) each spoke of Lyn with deep affection and respect. The farewell certainly recognised Lyn’s achievements, but also the way Lyn has served the diocesan community, which was always characterised by faithfulness, humility, and determination. I also thank Lyn for her strong contribution to the mission and pastoral life of our Diocese. In late January through to March members of our diocesan community were invited to contribute to the worldwide consultation for the 16th Ordinary Synod of Bishops, for a Synodal Church. Whilst the number of submissions was numerically small, especially in comparison to the First Phase of the Plenary Council in 2017-2018, the themes were consistent. People “A Church that ‘goes forth’ is a Church whose doors are open” Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel (46) DR CHRIS COTTER From Director of Mission and Pastoral Life
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 11 Sandhurst Diocese Reports in Sandhurst are yearning for a truly inclusive Church, one that recognises and finds a place for the distinctive gifts of women, encourages co-responsibility for mission and provides formation to grow understanding of and support for missionary outreach. To celebrate Synodality in our Diocese as participation, communion and mission, a series of five videos featuring clergy, parishioners and Catholic schools were released on the Sandhurst YouTube channel between Holy Week and Ascension Sunday. This included a live stream of the Mass of Oils from the Cathedral on the Tuesday of Holy Week. The Synod has now moved on to the Continental Stage and, in December, Leslie Cooper led a small group of clergy, lay faithful and Chancery employees through a process of reflection and feedback on the Vatican Document for the Continental Stage. On 27 April, the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Bishop Shane announced a year of preparation and consultation for a Diocesan Pastoral Council, to be known as the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council. Following the Bishop’s announcement, the team got to work on developing documentation and processes for preparation and consultation meetings to be held throughout the Diocese from July through to December. Ruth Lawlor was temporarily reassigned from her Youth Ministry Coordinator role to co-facilitate these meetings with me. At Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday 24 July, Bishop Shane commissioned us to meet and consult with the people of God in the Sandhurst Diocese regarding the plan to establish the Council. The meetings enabled participants to learn about the proposed Council, to enter a listening and dialogue process and provide feedback to the Bishop. By 13 December we had met with the priests and representatives of the lay faithful in thirty-nine parishes, senior students and staff representing ten Catholic secondary colleges, all Catholic school Principals and Religious Education Leaders, Catholic Education Office Sandhurst staff, the Boards of Catholic Education Sandhurst Limited and Sandhurst Catholic Early Childhood Education and Care Limited, as well as representatives of St John of God Hospital. Nine hundred and five people participated in these meetings and more than 279 (collected) group responses have been received, providing a rich source of data that will help inform the focus, direction and processes adopted by the Council. A report on the preparation and consultation process and outcomes will be published prior to the Diocesan Assembly in February 2023. I am anticipating strong alignment between the themes expressed by participants in these meetings, the Synod on Synodality and the 5th Plenary Council of Australia. Thank you to our parish priests, school principals and Catholic Education Sandhurst leadership who advertised and made time for these meetings. I am especially grateful for the work of the Mission and Pastoral Life Team in promoting, organising, facilitating and reporting on the meetings. I am looking forward to the celebration of our Diocesan Assembly on 15 February 2023 in Shepparton. Our Diocesan Assembly is part of a larger movement of synodality, being a church on the journey together. At the Assembly, Bishop Shane will welcome 400 representatives of parishes, schools, professed religious, chancery staff and other Catholic entities. A keynote address on Synodality will be delivered; the recommendations of the 5th Plenary Council of Australia noted; the synthesis from the diocesan consultation for the Synod on Synodality celebrated; and feedback from the preparation and consultation meetings for the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council will be considered through a listening and dialogue process. At the conclusion of the Assembly, Bishop Shane will call for Expressions of Interest from the faithful to join the Council. Once the Council members have been appointed and commissioned at the Mass of Oils, I expect the first meeting will be held in the last week of April 2023. This Council will support synodal governance in the Diocese through a structure that builds co-responsibility and discernment in leadership and decision making. It will strengthen our capacity to operate in a strategic and collaborative way, by drawing on the best possible advice of lay people and clergy for pursuing the Church’s mission.
12 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 The Second Assembly of the 5th Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia was held in the first week of July. The five Sandhurst members, Bishop Shane, Fr Joe Taylor VG, Fr Brian Boyle EV, Cathy Jenkins and Ruth Lawlor travelled to Sydney to celebrate an extraordinary event in the life of the Australian Church. Audrey Brown (Cathedral Cluster of Parishes Bendigo) and I were privileged to be on the facilitation team for the week. Our members provided video updates each day which Katrina Strong published to our social media networks. These messages provided an important perspective from the floor of the Assembly. I encourage everyone to read the Decrees of the Council which are available on the Plenary Council website. Whilst some require Vatican approval, many of the Decrees are the kinds of things that dioceses, parishes and other Catholic entities can do or are doing already. Our Pastoral Associates and Lay Coordinators Network met face to face on three occasions in 2022. This included a timely retreat led by Fr Dennis Crameri along the banks of the Mitta Mitta River in late April. The first Network meeting was held in Shepparton in March and included a lunch to recognise the services of Lyn Breen to the Network. The annual meeting with clergy was held in August at St Augustine’s Church in Kyabram and included reflections on the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council given by Bishop Shane Mackinlay, Fr Joe Taylor VG, Fr Brian Boyle EV and Ruth Lawlor. The Network has committed to four meetings in 2023. The first meeting in March will establish a working party to set agendas, record minutes and prepare future meetings, source professional learning and organise a regular retreat experience for members. It was a significant year for the Rushworth Parish Lay Coordinators, Glen Avard (Cornella), Rebecca Catania (Murchison), Mary Jo Fortuna (Rushworth) and Greg Fitzpatrick (Stanhope). After two years in their role and a very positive review of the arrangements, they were officially installed by Bishop Shane on Sunday 29 May at a parish Mass in Rushworth. On 20 October the Chancery reception was turned into a multi-media studio as our Diocese hosted the first Plenary session of the online 2022 Evangelise Conference. The Sandhurst Plenary began with a specially prepared video introducing the Diocese, which is now available on the Sandhurst website, followed by a keynote from Bishop Shane entitled, “Into the Deep: After the Plenary Council”. After Bishop Shane’s keynote, I hosted a panel discussion responding to our Bishop’s keynote. Our panel members included: Ruth Lawlor (Sandhurst Youth Ministry Coordinator), Fr Junray Rayna (Administrator of St Kilian’s Bendigo) and Astrid Notorangelo (parishioner of St Kilian’s and Pastoral Associate at St Joseph’s Quarry Hill and St Monica’s Kangaroo Flat). We had originally planned for Loris Fletcher, parishioner from St Patrick’s Wangaratta and Fr Novelito Lim, Parish Priest in Echuca, to be on the panel, but the disastrous central Victorian floods stopped our plans for wider diocesan representation. The Conference archive is still available on the National Centre for Evangelisation website (nce.catholic.org.au). One of the great privileges of the year was visiting almost every one of our forty parishes. It was a joy to meet our pastors and parishioners on their home soil. Everywhere I went I was touched by the deep faith and generous hospitality of the people of God, particularly given the challenges of the pandemic and the more recent dislocation and trauma wrought by the floods. I remember especially our visit to St Mary’s Mooroopna in late October. Several parishioners who came along had not been able to get into their street, let alone their homes, and yet, there they were on a Wednesday night: ready to listen deeply for the voice of the Holy Spirit and to speak the truth as they saw it. The doors were open, and I saw a people who were hurting but ready to face reality and respond with integrity, flexibility, and an openness to being led by the Spirit. Dr. Chris Cotter PhD Director of Mission and Pastoral Life Sandhurst Sandhurst Diocese Reports
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 13 Sandhurst Diocese Reports Pictured; Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sunday 24 July, Bishop Shane commissions Chris Cotter and Ruth Lawlor to prepare and consult with the people of God in the Diocese about the Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council. Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council preparation and consultation meeting Wodonga Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council preparation and consultation meeting Wangaratta Sandhurst Mission and Pastoral Council preparation and consultation meeting Benalla Mass of Oils, 12 April
14 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 It is a changing world in which we live. Key documents referred to in stewarding the temporal goods of the Diocese grow in number each year. A current topic of particular interest to many of us is ethical investing. If someone asked me about ethical investing ten years ago, I would have referenced the Catholic Ethos and the screening out of investments in the tobacco or gambling industries which, of course, are at odds with Catholic social teaching. Today, the question requires a much more complex answer. Today, ethical investing includes considerations of renewable energy and new technologies that lighten the footprint left on this planet by humanity. Corporates now have new measures and accountabilities that consider environmental, social and governance or “ESG” as a set of standards for a company’s behaviour. Investors today screen potential investments according to ESG and how they meet their ethical framework. A recent paper from the Vatican also turns its focus on investing and says, “No investment of money is morally neutral; either God’s kingdom is being advanced by the assets we deploy, or it is being neglected and undermined”. This is a big statement to unpack and apply to our investment decision making. This new key document with regard to investing is the “Mensuram Bonam” (For Good Measure). This document uses the principles of Catholic social teaching and definitive church pronouncements on issues such as abortion, nuclear weapons and the death penalty. The document calls on bishops’ conferences and other Catholic investors to develop investment frameworks that are consistent with the Catholic Ethos. These investments should not only seek to achieve financial returns, but also work for the Common Good. At the local level the Diocese together with its investment advisors apply an Investment Framework to ensure we balance our investment decisions with a keen eye on what’s good for mankind and the planet we share. Faith-consistent investing has elements found in “socially responsible investing,” strategies focused on ESG and “impact investing”, which aims to promote a particular good or set of goods. Faith-consistent investing goes much further in terms of moral responsibility because it is based on Catholic social teaching with its vision of the human person. This past year has seen a number of parishes reach out for information to assist them with their investment decisions. The Investment Framework is a useful document from which to develop a framework that meets the particular circumstances of the parish. Please make contact at the Chancery if you would like to receive a copy. There have been a number of initiatives with a focus on environmental sustainability completed in the past year, such as the Diocesan Investment Policy Framework, Solar power panel installation and participating as a Catholic Earthcare organisation. Another small step in the work undertaken locally was to register CAMERON FRASER From Diocesan Business Manager
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 15 Sandhurst Diocese Reports Cameron Fraser Diocesan Business Manager Sandhurst the Chancery as a Catholic Earthcare organisation. In doing so, we hope that, as we journey towards a more environmentally sustainable and ethical Chancery office, and informed by what we learn on the journey, we are able to assist people in parishes to achieve their sustainability goals. As I reflect on what has been another challenging year for the people of the Diocese, I am grateful for the wonderful team of committed people I work with every day. Thank you for your continued efforts and I look forward to all that we will continue to do for the Diocese and the communities we serve together in the year ahead. “As we journey towards a more environmentally sustainable and ethical Chancery office, we are able to assist people in parishes to achieve their sustainability goals.”
16 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 2022 has been a year full of highs and lows as our school communities have continued to navigate the impact of COVID-19, while still managing to provide the most stable period of learning that has been experienced in previous years. During this time our school leaders have been outstanding, and I cannot speak highly enough of their resilience, strength and tireless devotion to their school communities. I also applaud the parents who have partnered with our schools to ensure that students were able to learn remotely when required, and who have supported their children during this challenging time. There is no more humble and noble profession in my opinion, than that of a teacher, and parents as a child’s first educator share in the responsibility of nurturing and teaching the young people in our lives. It is this partnership between school and home that gives young people the best opportunity to flourish. As we focus on the importance of educating the students in our schools, we cannot merely consider the academic instruction of a child, as the physical, spiritual and emotional development of each child are of equal importance. We want our students to be confident, capable and compassionate, and to be mindful of the world in which they live. Catholic Schools in the Sandhurst Diocese are part of a robust education system that parents are choosing for their children in ever-increasing numbers. We do not take this responsibility lightly and we are proud of the skilled educators and the school structure which are supported by the Catholic Education Office Sandhurst and the Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd Board. Catholic Education is proudly one key player in the life of the Church in Sandhurst. We see the school as the focus of all our aspirations. It is our goal to support Sandhurst schools as they improve young lives, developing in each a sense of purpose and hope, nurturing a belief in the future and their role within it. Those who graduate from Sandhurst Catholic schools should carry with them a life-long commitment to improving the lives of others and a desire to leave the world a better place. As educators, we believed this focus would serve to remind us daily that our Ministry within the Faith must always be dynamic, outward -looking, ever ready to serve, to challenge, to uplift, to enhance and to improve. With Christ at the heart of our work, we could then be faithful to the core business of learning and teaching, while anchored by the rich teachings of the Catholic Faith. Despite the challenges of this year, there were also many highlights as schools opened new facilities and celebrated significant “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation” Gospel of Mark 16:15 PAUL DESMOND From Chief Executive Officer CES Ltd
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 17 Sandhurst Diocese Reports anniversaries, acknowledging the rich and unique history of each school. The communities of St Joseph’s Cobram and St Peter’s North Bendigo commemorated 100- and 50-year anniversaries respectively. The Sisters of Mercy established both schools and the influence of the Mercy Sisters is interwoven into the identity and charism of each school. St Joseph’s Nagambie also celebrated their 100-year anniversary, giving thanks to the Sisters of St Joseph and the pioneers of Catholic Education in the Nagambie region. St John’s Euroa also brought their community together to commemorate their centenary which was unable to be celebrated last year due to COVID-19. Each school community enjoyed the opportunity to recall times past, to reconnect and to acknowledge the history of their school and their place within this history. The Victorian floods that occurred in Term 4 had a devastating effect on some of our Sandhurst schools and communities, in particular the townships of Rochester, Echuca, Shepparton, Mooroopna, Kerang and Pyramid Hill were greatly affected. Schools were closed and properties were flooded as the rain continued to fall and the rivers continued to rise. Year 12 students from St Joseph’s Echuca spent the final day of their schooling filling sandbags to help save their college and their town. These stories of self-sacrifice and community spirit were not isolated; as always, the human spirit prevails and leaders within our communities come to the fore. The countless number of people who supported our schools in the most heavily affected regions, checking neighbours’ properties, helping move furniture and treasured possessions to higher ground, coordinating emergency response, catering, donating goods and service, were working tirelessly to help a community in need. St Joseph’s Primary School in Rochester will remain closed well into 2023 as the school is rebuilt, infrastructure repaired and equipment replaced. Sadly, a major new school building which students had only moved into three weeks prior to the floods, also sustained significant damage. St Joseph’s students have been relocated to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Elmore and Catherine McAuley College in Bendigo until they are able to return to their school. I thank the Principals of these schools, first for answering the call, and second, for their swift action to make sure that students were able to continue their learning. I also acknowledge, with deep gratitude, the work of my colleagues at the Catholic Education Sandhurst Office for the support they gave, and continue to give to the principals, staff, students and families of the floodaffected schools. During Term 4, I embarked on a trip to Ireland with the Executive Director of Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited, Tom Sexton, to explore the possibility of recruiting Irish teachers in response to a critical shortage of teachers in Australia. The challenge of recruitment is already being felt by a number of schools in the Diocese of Sandhurst, particularly those in regional or remote areas, and is expected to become more severe in the years ahead. Competition to gain the services of qualified educators across the sectors is already having a significant impact. Our research found that there is currently an ‘over supply’ of teachers in the Republic of Ireland. At the same time, there is a decrease in the student population in Irish schools and this is expected to become more pronounced in the coming decade. It is our aim to attract Irish teachers to join our excellent Australian teachers in the classroom over the next 4-5 years to relieve the pressure in our schools. We remain grateful to both the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments for their generous financial support of the Catholic Sector. By their provision of funds, we are able to set and work towards our target of delivering the best in learning opportunities for our students. The 2022 theme for Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd is Tell the Good News, and although there have been considerable challenges throughout the year there have also been many wonderful Good News stories. It is the presence of these stories in our lives that nourishes us and brings us closer to God. Paul Desmond Chief Executive Officer Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd
18 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 Members of the SCECE&C Ltd Board work in partnership with the Catholic Diocese Sandhurst, CatholicCare Victoria and Catholic Education Sandhurst, to ensure the professional oversight and governance of early childhood education and care within the Diocese. The Board is supported by the Child Safe and the Audit and Risk CSA&R Committee, which has oversight of Child Safe Standards, Occupational Health and Safety, Finances and Risk Management. Much has been achieved since the inception of SCECEC&C Ltd, including the formation of Board Directors and the endorsement of a number of important documents, including the SCECE&C Ltd Constitution, Child Safety Framework, Emergency Management Plans, and a Quality Framework for Early Childhood Provision. A Board evaluation was conducted in October of 2021 leading to the development of an Improvement Plan and a draft Growth Strategy was presented to the Board in April 2021, outlining potential areas for growth and development of early childhood services in the Diocese. In line with the Growth Strategy, SCECE&C Ltd applied to the Victoria Building Blocks Capacity Building Grant Stream in 2021 for provision in Nagambie, Kialla and Echuca and an expansion grant for St Mel’s Kindergarten in Shepparton. The Echuca, St Mel’s and Nagambie applications were successful with grants allocated as follows: • Echuca – Integrated Children’s Centre Grant for the Echuca Early Childhood Community Hub $3.1 Million • Shepparton – St Mel’s Kindergarten Expansion Grant $372, 133 • Nagambie – Building Blocks Capacity Modular Grant to construct the Nagambie Community Early Learning Centre $1.8 Million In addition, SCECE&C Ltd was notified of the following grants provided through the Early Childhood Building JULIE COBBLEDICK From Sandhurst Catholic Early Childhood Education & Care Ltd Sandhurst Catholic Early Childhood Education and Care Limited (SCECE&C Ltd) was established as a subsidiary company to Catholic Education Sandhurst Limited (CES Ltd) in September 2020 and became the approved provider for Early Childhood Services within the Diocese of Sandhurst. “The central objective of SCECE&C is to operate settings for early childhood education and care that pursue this twofold mission of evangelisation and education, embodying and fostering the Christian understanding of the human person. Everything about these settings contributes to their mission of evangelising and educating in the Christian tradition.” Initial Directions Statement by Bishop Shane Mackinlay
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 19 Sandhurst Diocese Reports Julie Cobbledick Chair of SCECE&C LTD Board Prepared in collaboration with Paul Desmond Chief Executive Officer SCECE&C LTD and Carla Jeffrey Chief Early Childhood Officer SCECE&C LTD Blocks Inclusion (Buildings and Playgrounds) Grant stream in early 2022. These grants fund infrastructure upgrades to ensure kindergarten activities are safer, more inclusive, and accessible to children of all abilities. • $170,000 for Assisi Kindergarten, Strathfieldsaye, which will be used to create a play structure that is designed with graduated ramps that wind and connect with platforms and spaces around the existing trees to provide many different play spaces for children of all abilities to enjoy and feel the joy of height. • $39,393.80 for St Mel’s Kindergarten to construct a deck that is flush with the indoor floor that attaches to a ramp to facilitate wheelchair access from inside play spaces to outdoor play spaces. A further $98,024 Facility Upgrade Grant will support the expansion to upgrade children’s and staff bathrooms and the kindergarten director’s office. As SCECE&C Ltd grows, the organisational structure continues to develop, providing an overview of the relationships within, from CES Ltd as the Member through to the early childhood services. The leadership and management of early childhood education and care is provided through the SCECE&C Ltd Unit. This is a small team of two staff led by Carla Jeffrey (Chief Early Childhood Officer). SCECE&C Ltd currently has two services within the organisation, Assisi Kindergarten Strathfieldsaye, and St Mel’s Kindergarten Shepparton. Both services facilitate educational programs for 3- and 4-year-old children with enrolments of 220 children in 2022. St Mel’s Kindergarten (1967) and Assisi Kindergarten (2017) reflect the work of St Mel’s Parish (Shepparton South) and St Therese’s Parish (Kennington) in establishing and supporting early childhood education and development within the Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst. The generous commitment of the Sisters of Divine Zeal in Shepparton, the pioneers of early childhood education and care in the Diocese, combined with the more recent establishment of Assisi Kindergarten in Strathfieldsaye, has provided a sound framework to build upon, so that early childhood education and care can be provided more widely across the Diocese, expanding the provision of Catholic Education, in partnership with parishes, Catholic schools and diocesan agencies with particular reference to CatholicCare Victoria. There is much to celebrate and acknowledge in relation to the first period of the SCECE&C Ltd development. There are also challenges ahead as new sites for services are determined whilst, at the same time, we ensure a high quality of education is provided in the existing services. Resourcing (both personnel and financial) within the Company will continue to be monitored and supported as we move forward into the next phase of establishment for SCECE&C Ltd.
20 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 There is now a semblance of normality in the liturgical, pastoral and social activities of our parishes and our Diocese as we emerge from the rigours of Covid restrictions. While the effects of the pandemic on the health and welfare of many people are still quite real, we have seen in the last twelve months an easing of restrictions and particularly the removal of the QR check-in system in our churches. Congregations are returning to our churches. Covid has been a “wrecking ball” through our social and liturgical lives over the last several years. For me, one of the haunting images of the impact of Covid on our worship was that of our Bishop celebrating Mass in the Cathedral, the congregation gathered on the sanctuary and looking into the vast emptiness of the dark Cathedral itself. As I indicated in my 2021 report, the Diocese has been engaged over the last several years in developing a suite of policies on the welfare and care of the priests. This care on the part of the Diocese needs to be intentional, focused and comprehensive. The policies and their implementation are some of the principal ways of ensuring this care takes place. The documentation includes policy on the care and formation of priests; program for the welcome, support and acculturation of overseas priests working in the Diocese; policy for the support of recently ordained priests; ministry appraisal and review forms; and, policy on clergy remuneration and support. These documents all received careful scrutiny by the Sandhurst priests at the 2021 in-service at Wangaratta. This documentation is now approaching final form and approval. An annual feature of the priest’s spiritual life is the retreat, an opportunity to step back from busy pastoral engagement and devote quality time to an essential aspect of his priesthood, namely his relationship with Christ. Our practice in Sandhurst is to have an organised priests’ retreat every alternate year and priests making their own arrangement the other year. In 2021 our retreat was conducted online because of Covid restrictions on gatherings. In 2022 the responsibility for a retreat rested with each priest. As the Director I arranged for a copy of a recent book on John’s Gospel to be sent to each priest as a possible resource for a retreat. The book was Come to the Light: Reflections on the Gospel of John by the eminent Australian biblical scholar, Fr Brendan Byrne SJ. This resource was warmly received. The book consists of some eighteen short reflections on key aspects of the Gospel of John and, as such, quite suitable for retreat reflection and prayer. The priest’s relationship with Christ is primary in his identity and mission. The annual retreat is an established feature for sustaining that relationship. Another regular feature of priestly professional development is the annual in-service. In 2022 we gathered at Cadell On The Murray at Moama, NSW, from 15-18 August. Sandhurst priests are now quite familiar with this resort as the facilities and location suit our purposes very well. A number of clergy gatherings have now been held in Moama. For 2022 the theme of the priests’ in-service was An Integral Ecology of Life: An Invitation to Ecological REV. BRIAN BOYLE From Director, Diocesan Clergy Life and Ministry
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 21 Sandhurst Diocese Reports Very Rev Dr Brian Boyle ADM EV Director, Clergy Life and Ministry Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Conversion and Action. One of the urgent needs of our time is the development of an ecological awareness of the earth, our common home. The landmark Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ (2015) explored what an integral ecology of life means for us all. The Encyclical proposed concrete programs and actions which would follow. Care for the planet is the responsibility of each one of us; ecological awareness is an integral part of Christian faith. In the context of our Moama in-service, we gave prayerful and considered reflection to what an integral ecology of life may involve for each of us and our parishes, for example, our interconnectedness with each other in terms of economic, social and ecological issues, and our recognition that the earth is our common home, for which we all bear some responsibility. We began the inservice with the Smoking Ceremony conducted by Michael Chisholm and Troy Firebrace. Michael and Troy then offered their own personal reflection on the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Bishop Shane made a presentation on the statement by the Australian Catholic Bishops on ecology entitled Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor. Kylie Smith (Catholic Education Sandhurst) offered two sessions on ecological stewardship, and particularly how plastics are a mixed blessing in our economy and the environment. The second day was given over to a series of presentations by Mr Bernard Holland (Catholic Earthcare Australia). Bernard led us through a number of practical exercises on ecological awareness and responsibility, drawing on the action program in Laudato Si’. On the final day Fr DJ Suguitan made a presentation of the new heaven and the new earth, drawing on Genesis and Revelation, the first and last books of the Bible. The point of ecological awareness, of course, is conversion and action, that is, the practical outcomes of this reflection. For me personally, the presentation on plastics, the use and abuse, has challenged me to look at my use of plastics as a consumer. I have made some reference in this report already to documentation being formatted and prepared on the life and ministry of Sandhurst priests. The Diocese takes its responsibility for the care and formation of its priests seriously. On alternate years a seminar is run at Moama for overseas priests (incardinated or on loan) ministering in the Diocese. On other years a similar seminar is run for those priests recently ordained (five years and under). In March 2022 a seminar was run for overseas priests at Moama. There are a significant number of priests born overseas now ministering in the Diocese, from the Philippines, India and Vietnam. A number of these are in fact incardinated in the Sandhurst Diocese while others are on loan. This gathering provided an opportunity for us, in a relaxed environment, to reflect together on our experience of ministry. Presentations were made by Bishop Shane, Fr Joe Taylor, Fr Paul Sireh O Carm, Christine Sebire (Echuca parishioner), and myself. Our time together reflected many of the aspirations of the Diocesan Program for Welcome, Support and Acculturation of Overseas Priests. In that context the Diocese in 2022 welcomed Fr Uday Kumar Marneni (Wodonga parish), Fr Jophin Joy (Numurkah and Nathalia parishes), Fr Henry Onyirioha from Nigeria who served in the Yarrawonga parish for several months, Mgr Cris Manongas (South Wangaratta parish). We also offer sincere thanks to Fr Shibu Pezumthottathil for his service in the Diocese over several years. The 2023 seminar will be for priests recently ordained. There were many other celebratory occasions in 2022 when the Sandhurst priests came together. Jackson Saunders was ordained a priest in the Cathedral on March 26, 2022. As a Bendigo resident, Jackson’s ordination attracted much local interest. We gathered at the Cathedral in April of Holy Week to celebrate the Chrism Mass with our Bishop. On July 20, we gathered to celebrate our jubilarians: Mons. Frank Marriott 60 years and Bishop Les Tomlinson, Fr Des Welladsen and Fr Vin Walsh, each of whom celebrated 50 years ordination. We see here some two hundred years of priestly ministry and service among these four men. The Plenary Council was held in Sydney in early July 2022 with Bishop Shane, Fr Joe Taylor and myself attending as clergy representatives of the Diocese. This gathering was a most significant occasion for the Australian Catholic Church. One of its fruits will be the convocation of the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly at Shepparton in February, 2023. With these celebrations and gatherings the Sandhurst clergy mark another year of ends and beginnings.
22 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst Year in Review 2022 As 2022 comes to a close I find myself reflecting on how fast it has flown by. Weeks and months blur together, and it is easy to forget everything Youth Ministry has undertaken over the course of the year. The process of writing this annual report provided me with the opportunity to reflect on what the year has brought with it, and, as with previous years, I am surprised how much Sandhurst Youth Ministry (SYM) has been involved with over the year. I have focused on three specific Youth Ministry projects, while acknowledging there have been many other projects and people I have had the pleasure to connect with in 2022. Ablaze Days This year, Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd (CES Ltd) was able to hold the first Ablaze Day gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic. Students gathered in Shepparton and Bendigo for primary and secondary school days. They were able to experience an energetic and prayerful event which included music and dance, talks, games and time for Eucharistic Adoration – all focused around the CES Ltd 2022 theme, “Tell the Good News”. “I look forward with great excitement and anticipation to everything that is coming in 2023 for Youth Ministry.” Ruth Lawlor RUTH LAWLOR From Sandhurst Youth Ministry
Year in Review 2022 Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst 23 Sandhurst Diocese Reports Ruth Lawlor Coordinator Sandhurst Youth Ministry These days continue to be a collaborative project between CES Ltd, SYM and FRG Ministry, providing a chance for each to contribute their different gifts and talents to the student experience. This year also saw the Ablaze experience extended through a professional development session for Catholic teachers in both venues. Familiarisation Tour of Lisbon, Portugal for World Youth Day 2023 Next year marks the return of the international World Youth Day gathering in Lisbon, Portugal. A pilgrimage of young adults, 18- to 35-year-olds, will travel to Lisbon from Sandhurst. This year has involved laying the groundwork for this pilgrimage, with significant planning taking place in partnership with the travel company, Harvest Journeys. As part of this planning, I was able to attend an Australian Group Leaders’ Familiarisation Tour to Portugal in September. This tour provided opportunities to visit the different locations connected with the event in 2023, as well as meet with Australian Embassy staff and the World Youth Day coordination team. Participation in this tour has proved to be invaluable and has greatly assisted me when considering accommodation and transport options, to complete risk assessments and finalise an itinerary. During the tour I also visited Fatima, Sintra, and few other small towns and villages near Lisbon. Perhaps most invaluable, though, was simply being present in Portugal to experience the culture firsthand and to better prepare the pilgrims’ journeying there next year. Mission and Pastoral Council Preparation and Consultation Meetings As a member of the Mission and Pastoral Life Team for the Diocese, I have also been given the opportunity this year to cofacilitate the Preparation and Consultation Meetings across the Diocese. For me, this has felt like a continuation of my involvement in the Plenary Council. I was so pleased to take my experience of listening and discernment, as a member at the Assemblies, and bring it back to share with people in our Diocese. As part of the process, Dr Chris Cotter and I were able to visit ten of the Diocesan Secondary Schools and involve students and staff in the listening and discernment process. Conversations were positive and engaging, with students offering some fantastic insights into their lived experience, hopes for the future and views on the Church. It may come as a surprise to many how similar the emerging themes were in both parish and educational context. Often there was a different way of expressing ideas, but when it came down to it, many of those involved were sharing the same thoughts. I have become very aware of the power of going out and gathering with people across the Diocese in many different settings. This has given me a greater insight into how people are experiencing the Church in Sandhurst at this current point in time. The experience of the listening and dialogue process with so many different people continues to fill me with great hope for what is coming next for the Diocese, particularly in the space of Youth Ministry.