Sunday, April 27, 2014

Remembering Jim Cotter RIP

God be in my gut and in my feeling
God be in my bowels and in my forgiving
God be in my loins and in my swiving
God be in my lungs and in my breathing
God be in my heart and in my loving
God be in my skin and in my touching
God be in my flesh and in my yearning
God be in my blood and in my living
God be in my bones and in my dying
God be at my end and at my reviving

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Invocation

May the blessings of the Easter Season surround us with courage and confidence. May we stand against the religion of Empire and proclaim the liberating anarchy of the teachings of Christ. 

May we roll away the stones of fear and prejudice in our lives.May we open our tombs and walk in the light of justice,compassion and solidarity with the poor of the earth.

May we sing "Alleluia" with voices that cry out against economic and political exploitation of vulnerable people.

May we walk gently on our mother earth in lives of nonviolence and find the harmony of life that is written in the stardust of our being.

May the love of the Easter story invade our hearts to welcome those who come to our shores as Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

May the mystery of the Easter story call us to live "Dadirri" in solidarity with the First Nations people of our land.

May we proclaim the Risen One by our public commitment to housing the homeless, feeding the hungry and thirsty, liberating prisoners,welcoming the stranger in our midst and standing against the powers of economic and political newspeak.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

2014 Blake Prize Entries Now Open

Preparations for the 2014 Blake Prize are well under way. Prizes awarded this year will include the Blake Art Prize, the John Coburn Emerging Artist Award, the MUA Blake Prize for Human Justice and the Blake Poetry Prize. There’s $40,000 in prize money to be won, so start working on your entries now!
You'll be pleased to know that entries for the Blake Poetry Prize are now open and this year's judges will be Peter Boyle, Martin Harrison and Astrid Lorange. To find out more about the judges and download the entry form click here.
While we can’t divulge the judging panel for the Art Prize just yet, we can tell you that entries will close on Friday 29 August. Stay tuned for more information!
Whether you’re a painter, sculptor, photographer, new media artist or poet, make sure to check our website for the conditions of entry and frequently asked questions for either the art prize or the poetry prize. While you’re there, subscribe to our mailing list, so you can keep on top of all of this year’s important dates and events. We’ll let you know as soon as the Art Prize entry forms are available.
Image: Sherna Teperson, Sunrise (The throwing of the bones), mixed media, 27 x 27.5 x 27.5cm.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Finding Jesus in the Marketplace

Only in West End would you go to a market and find yourself at a Jesus Shop. Surprise number two was that the man behind the Jesus Shop was a student at Australian Catholic Uni when I was on staff. So what happens to graduates of the MA in Theology Course? They become AoG Pastors and run a Jesus Shop. I came away with the Vintage Jesus leaflet I am holding for the pic.

The other amazing discovery in this visit is that framed piece on the wall. It is from the Christ series by David Hart, son of the legendary artist, Pro Hart!!
 — at Boundary Street Markets
Tony Robertson's photo.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Congrats to Michael Mason CSSR

Congratulations to a colleague from my days in the Collingwood Catholic Community, Michael Mason CSsR who has been awarded the Archbishop Adrian Doyle Award for Pastoral Research, for recognition of his outstanding contribution to pastoral research in Australia.

In attendance to present the award was retired Archbishop of Hobart Adrian Doyle, the first chair of the Board of Management for the Pastoral Research Projects (the predecessor of the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research) and himself a strong supporter of pastoral research in the Church.

Extract from “Don’t shoot! I’m only the messenger!” A few reminiscences from fifty years of pastoral research by Michael Mason CSSR 

Address delivered at the 
Conference on Beliefs and Practices of Australian Catholics 
ACBC Pastoral Research Office 

February 19-21, 2014 

What have I learned? Well, not much, I suppose – two principles, at least: 

• First: Understanding the situation is fundamental and must come before “doing”: understanding 
what has changed, and what is the situation for ministry now. Otherwise people make poorly 
planned attempts at “quick fixes” which don’t work. (I saw a cartoon of an elderly pastor 
saying: “We gave them jazz masses, rock masses, hip hop masses, and still they don’t come! 
What more do young people want?”). 

• Second: The relationship between religion and society has changed over a long period; this change 
accelerated sharply in the Western world from the 1970s on, and is still continuing; Christianity 
will not become extinct, but in the future the church as an organisation in Western societies 
seems likely to become smaller, more marginal, less influential than it is today, with fewer 
resources and a smaller superstructure. The Church is primarily the people of God. The 
institutional structure, which we also call church, is just the beautiful old family home the 
Church has lived in for a long time, parts of which are getting beyond repair. 

• The church existed for centuries in a relatively stable society and culture; so it has been shaped as a 
traditional organisation; geared to faithfully continuing to hand on its treasures, and of course 
developing and changing, but slowly; traditional organisations assume the future will be 
basically much the same as the past, so they will always be relevant. So they tend not to notice 
when rapid change in their environment makes them ineffective. Like an old TV station 
continuing to send out an analogue TV signal when the receivers have all changed over to 

• As institutions lose touch, they get a bit short-sighted; they can look straight at their defects and see them as strengths; there’s a lot of bad pastoral research out there that screens them from the 
truth – Mary Gautier showed in her wonderful talk the other day how even counts of mass 
attendance in the USA are exaggerated to make parishes or dioceses look good. Hence the old 
saying: “there are lies, damned lies, and church statistics!”. A pastoral researcher must tell the 
truth. If you announce that your research shows that in Catholic schools today, it is pastorally 
harmful to impose religious education and prayer on students who do not believe (and this 
includes many who are nominally Catholic), you will be called a Jeremiah. Well, take comfort 
– he was a great prophet, to whom the Lord said: “Behold, I put my words in your mouth”. 

• The people of God need some new houses built. And success always starts with failure. But the 
church of the future will still be the community of believers gathered to live the Gospel of the 
Lord. Our belief and hope in its future is not based on numbers but on the testimony of the 

Holy Spirit.

World Day of Prayer, Thanksgiving and Action for Human Rights Defenders and Peacebuilders

Join us on April 11th in prayer and action for all those working for human rights. This year, we particularly think of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen Mahesan, OMI, two activists who are under investigation by the Sri Lankan government for their actions in defense of human rights. 

Únete a nosotros el 11 de Abril, en la plegaria y en la acción, por quienes trabajan por los Derechos Humanos. Este año, tendremos particularmente presentes a Ruki Fernando y al P. Praveen Mahesan (Oblato de María Inmaculada), dos activistas que se encuentran investigados por parte del gobierno de Sri Lanka a causa de su compromiso en defensa de los Derechos Humanos.

Good Friday Vigil for Those on Death Row

Death Penalty Vigil
The Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission’s annual Good Friday death penalty prayer vigil will take place on Friday 18 April at 12 noon at Christ the King Church, Churchill Street, Graceville. 
All are welcome to join us in prayer for those on death row in Indonesia and around the world