Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fair Trade Artisan's Market November 1-4 in Brisbane


COSSAG is one of my favourite religious acronyms providing a two syllable sound for the Cathedral of St Stephen Art Group. This extraordinary group have quietly been  building a professional reputation in Brisbane  as curators and exhibitors for  local and International artisans. 

As well as the exhibitions and public talks, the group have a strong commitment to Fair Trade ethics which gives a cutting edge to their work.

Please join COSSAG and Friends at the 
2013  HANDS OF THE WORLD Fair Trade Artisans' Market
1st-4th November 9am-5pm
The Francis Rush Centre 
277 Elizabeth Street Brisbane
This is a Free Event for members of the public

From Ecuador to Laos, from Kenya to Thailand, our global network offers easy opportunities for Brisbane people to admire the ingenuity and skills of women and men in hand making mediums like metalwork, textiles, woven jute, glass, recycled paper, ceramics, jewellery, even designer dresses. The astute and the compassionate will also buy, knowing that in health, education and housing, your even small contribution can mean much to our gifted hard working contacts. An evening preview at 6pm on Thursday 31 October is for the favoured who read this. (Note for Diary.)

Each day at noon, an interviewer with a roving mike in the hall will briefly discuss projects, designs, techniques, traditions, rituals and answer questions. Fair Trade tea and coffee and a snack will be available for sale. 



Mass For Those Killed in Extremism and Human Rights Abuses (Brisbane AU)

In many countries around the world, thousands of people, including Christians, have been killed as a result of attacks by extremists, Government abuses or conflict. 

The Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has arranged for a Mass to remember all those killed in countries like Syria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere as a result of war, extremism and human rights abuses. 

The Mass will be celebrated on All Souls Day, Saturday 2 November, at 10 AM at St Oliver Plunkett Church, 21 Beauvardia Street, Cannon Hill.

All are welcome. You are welcome to stay for tea and coffee afterwards. Please bring a plate of food to share.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Images That Open Your Eyes

A medal commissioned to commemorate the pontificate of Pope Francis has been abruptly recalled after the Vatican realized that it had misspelled the name of someone fairly important to the Roman Catholic Church.
That person is Jesus.
Or "Lesus," according to the papal medal.(see full report here)

Monday, October 07, 2013

Images That Open Your Eyes


This pic is a bit of Brisbane Catholic History that didn't make The Catholic Leader as a news story. Although not great quality, it is a significant record of the night the late Fr ted Kennedy launched his book, Who is Worthy at St Mary's Church in South Brisbane.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this photo includes images of deceased people.This is probably the first pic i took of a significant gathering of Indigenous Elders in Brisbane.


Sydney priest tours rainbow churchPDFPrintE-mail

Written by Tain   
Sunday, 01 October 2000
St Mary's Church in South Brisbane is well known for pushing the boundaries of convention in theology and politics. On Tuesday, 22 August, the church filled with the curious, the converted and the faithful to celebrate the Brisbane launch of Ted Kennedy's book, Who is Worthy?

Ted sat among many Murri friends. The Watson family, singer Dermot Dorgan and the Brisbane Lesbian and Gay Pride Choir combined for an evening of storytelling song and celebration.

Tony Robertson, a self-styled holy irritant and host for the launch invited Ted to cut a cake baked for the occasion. The rousing chorus of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow was a community tribute to a man many admire as an advocate for the poor and a voice that challenges the structure of the church.

Speaking as a gay Catholic, Robertson says that Kennedy's book will stand as a classic of pastoral theology in Australia because it speaks out for two marginalised groups, gay-and-lesbian people and the Aboriginal community. The theology of the book is directed at the public positions of Archbishop George Pell of Melbourne: it focuses on the role of conscience in the future of the Church.

This completes a tour of the three east-coast capital cities by the 68 year-old parish priest of Redfern. His book was launched with great enthusiasm at his parish church on 16 April where speakers included Judge Bob Bellear and Sister Veronica Brady, and Peter Kearney was among the singers.

On 17 July, Kennedy's Melbourne launch was held at Saints Peter and Paul's Church in South Melbourne where Father Bob Maguire is parish priest. Lois Peeler welcomed people on behalf of the Bunurong and Woiworung people. Naomi Meyer, vice-president of a peak national Aboriginal medical body, praised his lifetime's work in solidarity with Aboriginal people while Dave McKenna, lawyer and member of the Rainbow Sash group, celebrated Kennedy's contribution to turning around an atmosphere of fear and suspicion. Jan Coleman thanked him on behalf of parents of gay and lesbian children. In formally launching the book in Victoria, Professor Tony Coady combined learned comment and joking stories of his long friendship with Kennedy. Jadyn Lillyst sang They Took the Children Away and a series of powerful numbers. Brendan O'Dwyer represented the publishers, Pluto Press. Ted Kennedy's address was printed in Tain no. 8. Val Noone was master of ceremonies. Bob Maguire remarked that as he walked over to the church for the launch he noticed a rainbow over the building. Some 350 people attended the function which marks a new stage in developing alternative forums in the Melbourne Catholic Church.
TAIN October 200

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Mental Health Week 2013 for Catholics


The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World set the tone for a new engagement between religion and community "The joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well" 

In this context I would expect there to be some attention from the pulpits of our Churches to the fact that in Australia, October 7-12 is dedicated as Mental Health Week.

Mental illness is very common. One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder. These three types of mental illnesses often occur in combination. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder could also develop depression, or a person with depression might misuse alcohol or other drugs, in an effort to self-medicate. Of the 20% of Australians with a mental illness in any one year, 11.5% have one disorder and 8.5% have two or more disorders. Almost half (45%) Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime [1]. (Facts and Figures about Mental Health and Mood Disorders)

A quick scan of the popular Catholic blogs, forums and news services draws a blank on this week's theme.  In my home Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic Pyschiatric Pastoral Care
 invites you to Mass at St Patrick’s, Fortitude Valley on Friday 11 October @ 1.00pm to celebrate Mental Health Week. This
year’s theme is We’re all in this together. Light refreshments will follow Mass. 

Readers of this blog may like to spread the word about an invitation to A National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness Recovery and Understanding. This initiative of A Nouwen Network will be held on the Sunday of or following World Mental Health day, October 10.

A great resource of prayer and worship resources is available on the site. You might like to take up the suggestion to promote a National Day of Prayer for this cause. You can do that by sending your request to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and National Council of Churches

Emailsecretariat[at]ncca.org.au

One of the Prayer resources I will use during this week is a Candle  Lighting Service allowing for a candle for each day of the week. I invite you to join with me using a candle at home  or in your place of worship:


  • We light the candle of Truth that God will help us dispel ignorance and misinformation about major  depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. (Silent prayer) 
  • We light the candle of Healing that troubled minds and hearts,  broken lives and relationships might be healed. (Silent prayer) 
  • We light the candle of Understanding that the darkness of stigma,  labels, exclusion and marginalization might be dispelled for the sake  of those touched by mental illness. (Silent prayer) 
  • We light the candle of Hope for persons and families living with  mental illness, for better treatment, for steadier recovery, for greater  opportunity to work and serve. (Silent prayer) 
  • We light the candle of Thankfulness for compassionate, dedicated  caregivers and mental health professionals; for new discoveries in  brain research and better medications. (Silent prayer) 
  • We light the candle of Faith to dispel doubt and despair for those  who have lost hope and are discouraged. (Silent prayer) 
  • We light the candle of Steadfast Love to remind us of God’s love  and faithfulness, and to remind us to share the light of love and  service for those living with mental illness. (Silent prayer) 
Carole J. Wills 




Anam Cara.(Brisbane)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Francis of Assisi Patron of Streaking and Naturism!



Happy St Francis Day. The young idealistic and visionary Italian  who turned his back on social and religious protocols is a conversion story as great as that of Paul's road to Damascus. It's too easy to dismiss the movie clip as romantic and sweet. It sets us a challenge as we prepare for Anti-Poverty Week to review our sense of attachment to possessions. Today s also the day we celebrate the feast of streaking as a religious act and the grace of naturism as a healthy choice.