News in Brief

Fr Bob Maguire (Melbourne Archdiocese)

‘Larrikin priest’ dies at 88 years of age

Parishioners and powerbrokers alike have paid tribute to Catholic priest, social justice campaigner and media personality Fr Bob Maguire, who died yesterday at the age of 88, The Age reported.

Fr Maguire’s charity work, advocacy for the poor and wicked sense of humour made him a popular figure in Melbourne and across Australia.

His family said Fr Maguire died at Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne yesterday morning.

“Fr Bob was a dear and much-loved member of our family and will be sorely missed for his energy and good humour. His physical and mental health had been deteriorating for some time. Still, his preference was always to help others rather than consider his own situation,” his family said in a statement.

World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

Pope Francis has chosen “His mercy is from age to age”, a passage from the Gospel of Luke, as the theme for the 2023 celebration of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, CathNews has reported.

On world day, celebrated on 23 July, the Pope will celebrate Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, according to the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.

Catholic parishes, dioceses, movements and associations are asked to organise local celebrations as well, the dicastery said in a short note on April 13.

Pope Francis chose the theme – which is a line from Mary’s Magnificat in the first chapter of Luke – to tie the celebration of the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly to World Youth Day, which will be celebrated just over a week later, in Lisbon, Portugal, the dicastery said.

Poetry Prize celebrates ten years with love

The Australian Catholic University Prize for Poetry, one of Australia’s richest poetry prizes, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, with poets being asked to reflect on the theme of Love.

Founded by the Office of the Vice-President in 2013, the ACU Prize for Poetry has become a highly anticipated and respected annual event in the nation’s literary scene, CathNews reported.

Inspired by the Catholic Church’s role as the largest patron of the arts, the prize has supported the emergence of new Australian poets and poetry for ten years.

“To create works of art that bring us, in the language of beauty, a sign, a spark of hope and trust where people seem to give in to indifference and ugliness,” Pope Francis said in 2016.

Every year the prize asks poets to reflect on a sole theme. The theme for the 10th anniversary will be “Love”as inspired by Martin Luther King Jr: “I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.” 

Entries close on July 3.

Catholic Church backs 7.2 per cent minimum wage increase 

A substantial increase to the minimum wage is warranted “to achieve the historical task of eliminating the gap between the minimum wage and poverty lines in Australia,” the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has told the Fair Work Commission.

The ACBC has made submissions on the national minimum wage for decades, arguing consistently that working people and their families living in poverty is inconsistent with principles that see the minimum wage as a “safety net”. 

The analysis looks at the impact of the current cost-of-living crisis on low-income earners, the affordability of a large increase in the minimum wage and the potential inflationary impacts of the increase – which are minimal. 

A 7.2 per cent increase in the minimum wage is needed to protect workers at risk of poverty, the ACBC said, and analysis shows it is affordable. 

“Where the current minimum wage does not allow individuals that are employed on a full-time basis to live without poverty, the minimum wage is not an effective safety net,” the bishops’ submission said. 


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