News in Brief
FCBCO assembly: Care for the Oceans; Formation for Mission; and Becoming a More Synodal Church.
A Mass steeped in Fijian spirituality and tradition opened the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania assembly on Sunday – a gathering its president hopes will turn “a new page” in the bishops’ shared mission.
Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse is currently in Fiji attending the assembly, which is held every four years.
Speaking after the Mass, FCBCO president and assembly host Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva said he hoped that a pastoral plan for the Oceania region would emerge by the end of the week.
He said that would happen as a result of the bishops’ deliberations, but also through their engagement with the document prepared on behalf of the People of God in Oceania for the Synod of Bishops for a Synodal Church – often called the Synod on Synodality.
Synodality and formation for mission are two of the three major themes for the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania assembly, along with the effects of climate change on the oceans.
The assembly runs until tomorrow evening.
School mural depicts meeting place
Indigenous artist Wendy Rix has completed a beautiful mural at St Joseph’s Primary School in Goulburn North. A St Joseph’s representative said students and staff were extremely excited to see the finished mural.
“We were very fortunate to have Australian contemporary indigenous artist Wendy Rix present such a beautiful mural at our school. The mural pays tribute to the different indigenous Aboriginal groups who saw Goulburn as a gathering/ meeting place. The art form depicts our school theme “Believe…Belong ..Become”, the vine brings our school community together and embraces the colours of our four sport houses; Fatima, Madonna, Loretto and Lourdes.
“Thank you, Wendy, for this wonderful painting and for inspiring us to be proud of our local history and to reflect on the importance of all members of our school community.”
Catholic Church celebrates its health care ministry
Catholic health and aged care services have invited the community to celebrate World Day of the Sick – now in its 31st year – and acknowledge the important work these ministries continue to do under challenging circumstances.
In his message to mark the World Day of the Sick in 2023, Pope Francis cited the parable of the Good Samaritan as an enduring example of not abandoning those in need of our care and compassion.
“The World Day of the Sick calls for prayer and closeness towards those who suffer,” he wrote.
“Yet it also aims to raise the awareness of God’s people, healthcare institutions and civil society with regard to a new way of moving forward together. Indeed, the conclusion of the parable of the Good Samaritan suggests how the exercise of fraternity, which began as a face-to-face encounter, can be expanded into organised care.”
The Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick is held on February 11, the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, and is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities.
Catholic Health Australia CEO Pat Garcia said Pope Francis’ message also invites people to advocate for better and fairer health systems around the world to ensure no one is left behind.
Source: CHA and ACBC