01 Jul 2024

Josephite recognised in Kings’ Birthday Honours

The Southern Cross July 2024 | Sr Pauline Morgan OAM

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Josephite Sister Pauline Morgan has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2024 King’s Birthday Honours List for service to the Catholic Church and education.

Currently community leader of Kensington Convent, Sr Pauline began her ministry as a teacher before embarking on a 20-year career in counselling and psychology. She spent much of the past two decades in leadership positions and celebrated her 60th jubilee in January.

01 Jul 2024

Getting to the heart of the matter

The Southern Cross July 2024 | Fr Justin Durai Raj CP

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When Fr Justin Durai Raj made his final profession of vows as a Passionist priest at St Paul of the Cross Church, Glen Osmond, last month, it was the culmination of a long period of listening to his heart and following the will of God. He talks to The Southern Cross about his move from diocesan priesthood to Religious life.

When Fr Justin Durai Raj CP wants some solitude and silence he goes to a cemetery.

“I just love to go to cemeteries and when I look at the tombs and graves there it takes me deeper into ‘what is life?’, Fr Justin told The Southern Cross ahead of his final profession on June 15.

01 Jun 2024

From Poland, with love

The Southern Cross June 2024 | Fr Roman Palma CR, PP

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When Fr Roman Palma looked out at the congregation gathered at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on April 28, a sea of familiar faces looked back at him. Approximately 400 people gathered to celebrate his 50th priestly ordination. Fr Roman spoke to KATIE SPAIN about his journey from Poland to Adelaide.

As a young boy growing up in a small village in Poland, Fr Roman had plenty of freedom to explore.

The exuberant youngster and his dog Finnika spent hours exploring the countryside.

“This developed into a love of nature,” he said. “That’s actually how my vocation started growing.”

01 Jun 2024

Fond farewells for Fr Roderick

The Southern Cross June 2024 | Fr Roderick O'Brien

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An Adelaide priest who “walked the talk” as he served in parishes and supported the Chinese Catholic Community for more than 40 years has retired.

Archbishop Patrick O’Regan announced last month that Fr Roderick O’Brien would be retiring from the role of parish priest at Lefevre and Deacon Tim Grauel has been appointed pastoral director with assistance from the priest moderator, Fr Dean Marin, who is Vicar General.

At a farewell for Fr Roderick on May 18, parish chair Gael Little said he had made a remarkable contribution to many parishes and people over 44 years as a priest.

01 May 2024

Building strong sense of community

The Southern Cross May 2024

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After almost five years ministering in Adelaide, Fr Lancy D’Silva CSC says he feels “really blessed” to be part of the Archdiocese and the Catholic community here.

Taking over as the new Dean of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral and Administrator of the Cathedral parish in February, Fr Lancy is making great efforts to get to know parishioners and strengthen that sense of community. He has already visited Kangaroo Island, Thebarton and Dulwich to celebrate Masses and was at the Cathedral throughout the busy Easter period.

“I was really impressed seeing the crowds in the Cathedral, especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday when the sacristan told me we had nearly 1400 people for the 11am Mass,” Fr Lancy told The Southern Cross in early April.

01 May 2024

A man and tome of many chapters

The Southern Cross May 2024 | Fr Jefferies Foale CP AM

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Last month was a particularly busy one for Passionist priest Fr Jeff Foale as he celebrated not only his 91st birthday but the launch of a book at the Vietnamese Catholic Community – a project he worked on for nine years.

Pierre Lambert de la Motte: The Father of Modern Missions is the story of the man who became the first Bishop of Vietnam, a country close to Fr Jeff’s heart and the place he now calls home.

“When I discovered the biography of Bishop La Motte in French I was hooked and set out to translate it in my spare time,” Fr Jeff (pictured) explained during a relaxed chat with The Southern Cross at The Monastery.

02 Mar 2024

Sisters relive convent memories

The Southern Cross March 2024 | Josephite Sisters

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It was on February 2 in 1964 that a group of young postulants, all in their late teens or early 20s, first walked through the doors of the St Joseph’s Convent at Kensington.

Sixty years later, on that very day in 2024, the Josephite sisters, now in their 70s and 80s, gathered once again at their ‘Mother House’ to remember that momentous day and recount memories from years gone by.

Sr Helen Duke, Sr Ursula Hoile, Sr Christine Schwerdt and Sr Colleen Roberts were among the 12 young women who arrived at the convent in the 1960s from various parts of Australia.

01 Mar 2024

Spreading kindness from South Korea

The Southern Cross March 2024 | Fr Paul Kim

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When Fr Paul Kim arrived in Adelaide on January 25 he was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of culture.

“The diverse languages spoken, the diversity of people and the cooperation between them,” Fr Kim told The Southern Cross, with the assistance of an interpreter.

It is Fr Kim’s first time in Australia, and he looks forward to his role as chaplain to Adelaide’s Korean community. He will call Adelaide home for approximately four years and hopes his family will one day make the 8100-plus kilometre journey to visit.

01 Feb 2024

Grateful for the love of the Lord

The Southern Cross February 2024 | Sr Norah O'Hara OP

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Sr Norah O’Hara is not one to talk about herself and thinks celebrating her 70th anniversary as a Dominican Sister is “no big deal”.

But the 91 year old has an enviable attitude to life as she lives each day “in the present” and thankful for all God has given her.

“The words ‘thank you Lord’ have always come “very easily” to me,” she told The Southern Cross.

“The love of the Lord is certainly very real.”

01 Feb 2024

A sense of belonging

The Southern Cross February 2024 | Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc

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When Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc left Adelaide last year for a three-month sabbatical in Malta, she carried with her a family heritage closely connected to the history of the small Mediterranean nation.

A first generation Australian of Maltese parents, along with her four brothers, Sr Jenny said when she arrived in Malta, she immediately felt a “sense of belonging” and “being home” as she recalled the places, streets and stories shared over dinner when she was growing up. The family line of her mother, Carmen, is Maltese on both grandparents’ sides. Carmen’s grandfather was in the British Navy and was lost at sea in World War I while her father was away from the family serving with the Navy during World War II.

01 Feb 2024

Following the design of God

The Southern Cross | Sr Lilly Reetha Alphonse

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Born and raised in a remote village in India's Tamil Nadu, Sister Lilly Reetha Alphonse’s path to becoming a nun was, in her words, “filled with twists and turns”.

As the youngest of three children in a family of hardworking farmers, her childhood dream was simple yet ambitious – she wanted to become a teacher. It was a profession that promised financial stability and would allow her to support her parents who worked long hours in the fields.

01 Oct 2023

Deacon Daryl a humble Hall of Fame inductee

The Southern Cross October 2023 | Deacon Daryl Hicks

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When Daryl Hicks was first informed that he was going to be inducted into the South Australian National Football League Hall of Fame, he told his wife Tricia he “wasn’t that good”.

“There were many much better than me,” the 82-year-old retired deacon said.

But the four-time Sturt premiership player had a passion for Aussie Rules that extended to coaching, administration and media over more than four decades.

01 Sep 2023

Seven decades of loyal service

The Southern Cross September 2023 | Michael Mulvihill

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After 70 years of altar serving across two continents, Michael Mulvihill could be forgiven for hanging up the cassock.

But the 78-year-old Brooklyn Park/Richmond parishioner seems to keep finding a reason to serve – both inside and outside – the St John Bosco Church community.

And no one is more grateful than Fr Long Hai Nguyen who was appointed parish priest in 2022.

In his first leadership role since being ordained in 2016, the Vietnamese refugee quickly came to realise the contribution Michael has made to the parish in a variety of ways for more than 40 years.

01 Aug 2023

No one is called to follow on their own

The Southern Cross August 2023 | Fr Dean Marin

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In reflecting on the Christian life in homilies over the years I’ve often said ‘no one is a Christian on their own’. It’s my way of naming how we are saved in Christ.

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church from the Second Vatican Council puts it this way: ‘God...has, however, willed to make men holy and save them, not as individuals without any bond or link between them, but rather to make them into a people.’ It then proceeds to speak of all the baptised as being ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…who in the times past were not a people but now are the People of God’.

01 Aug 2023

Missionary in his own backyard

The Southern Cross August 2023 | Fr Joshua Nash OMI

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When his first appointment as assistant priest of Tea Tree Gully and Dernancourt parishes was announced following his ordination last year, Fr Joshua Nash soon realised that while he was “heading home” he would still be fulfilling the Oblate charism to serve as missionaries around the world.

“Our provincial announced my appointment to my home parish when I was celebrating my first Mass at St David’s,” he said from his office adjacent the church where he was ordained on July 22 2022.

01 Aug 2023

Cannonball decision the will of God

The Southern Cross August 2023 | Fr Thang Bu SJ

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Jesuit priest Fr Thang Bui recently spent six weeks in the Glenelg parish running an Ignatian spirituality retreat and supporting parish priest Fr John Herd as part of his tertianship.

Tertianship is the final period of formal religious formation for Jesuit priests and brothers.

Before heading to Melbourne for the remainder of his tertianship, Fr Thang, 51, told The Southern Cross he was overwhelmed by the warm welcome he received from parishioners and school children during his stay in Glenelg.

01 Aug 2023

Croatia’s gift to Australia

The Southern Cross August 2023 | Sr Ljilja (Lily) Muzic ASC

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It’s a long way from her home country of Croatia but Sr Ljilja (Lily) Muzic ASC says while she “never dreamed” of living in Australia, it is all part of God’s plan.

The effervescent 43 year old arrived in Adelaide in late 2018 and is based at St Joseph’s convent, North Adelaide, where she lives with Sr Slavica Turcic, also of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ congregation.

In the past four years Sr Lily (pictured) has met the challenges of living in a different culture, far from friends and family, always with her trademark smile and friendly demeanour.

01 Aug 2023

Ministry of prayer

The Southern Cross August 2023 | Sr Margaret Hehir RSJ

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It all started with a taxi driver asking her to pray for him and from there Josephite Sister Margaret Hehir’s ministry has grown to see her now praying for nearly 1500 people each day. Sr Margaret’s prayer list – which is a collection of handwritten names in a small, tattered notebook – is never far from her side. Each day she begins her ministry with a prayer asking for St Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s intercession, and she then proceeds to say the names of each person on the list. The first page is devoted to priests and from there, it is anyone for whom she has been asked to pray.

01 Jun 2023

Ordained to listen

The Southern Cross August 2023 | Fr James Thomson

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After a journey spanning five years and two continents, former credit analyst James Thomson was ordained to the priesthood in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on May 27.

Family, friends and a large contingent of priests from the Archdiocese attended the morning Ordination Mass celebrated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan. Special guests included Fr Thomson’s formation adviser, Monsignor William Fay, who travelled from Pope John XXIII Seminary in Boston, USA, while fellow seminarians watched the joyful ceremony via livestream.

01 May 2023

Year of learning for new priesrts

The Southern Cross, May 2023 | Fr Olek Stirrat and Fr Anthony Beltrame

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In the lead up to Deacon James Thomson's joyous occasion, Fathers Anthony Beltrame and Olek Stirrat shared their reflections on their first 12 months in the priesthood.

• Driving nearly 1000 kilometres each week to meet with parishioners, being present with people at important moments of their lives, and joining the local footy team have been some of the joys and challenges for Fr Olek Stirrat in his first year as a priest.

In reflecting on his first 12 months as a priest, city-based Fr Anthony, 31, admitted that prior to his ordination “a lot of my life revolved around me and what I thought I needed to grow in holiness”.

01 May 2023

Preparing for ordination

The Southern Cross, May 2023 | Deacon James Thomson

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With only a few weeks until his ordination to the priesthood, Deacon James Thomson said he had strong emotions of gratitude and a sense of responsibility.

“Many people throughout my life journey have made big sacrifices in their own lives to get me to this point,” he said.

01 May 2023

Living the Marist mission at home and abroad

The Southern Cross, May 2023 | Brother Des Howard MFS

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In his 60th year as a Marist Brother, Des Howard is proof that it’s never too late to find new ways to live your vocation – his latest role as a prison chaplain and his rich and varied life of mission and ministry.

01 Mar 2023

Passionist's 50 year journey comes full circle

The Southern Cross, March 2023 | Fr Denis Travers CP

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Father Denis Travers has made an enormous contribution to the Passionists in Australia and around the world over five decades. The affable parish priest spoke to Jenny Brinkworth after celebrating his golden jubilee on January 21, in the same church where he made his first vows.

In his myriad of ministries as a Passionist priest Fr Denis Travers has been guided by a vision of God as “nothing but kindness and compassion”.

01 Mar 2023

Modern day missionary blessed to serve

The Southern Cross, March 2023 | Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ

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The French Sister charged with spreading Pope Francis’ vision of a synodal Church focused on mission, Sr Nathalie Becquart, spoke to Jenny Brinkworth about her experience as a woman working in the top echelons of the Vatican.

Labelled the most influential woman in the Catholic Church, Sr Nathalie doesn’t back away from the responsibility bestowed on her as Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, a role that gives her voting rights at the much-anticipated Synod of Bishops taking place in Rome this year and in 2024.

02 Feb 2023

Another chapter in the Josephite story

The Southern Cross, February 2023 | Sr Mary Cresp RSJ

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Sr Mary Cresp rsj is a great believer in the value of storytelling. 

“Stories are one way we get encouragement from each other,” she says. “The Gospel is a story, and right from the beginning we, like the first peoples of Australia, have learnt about the meaning of life through stories.”

The Josephite Sister is well-versed on the subject, having written nine books over the past two decades and many articles and research papers before that. Her most recent ‘story’ is a timely account of how one religious order recognised its charism as shared with lay people seeking to be witnesses to the Gospel.

01 Feb 2023

Busy start for Adelaide’s newest international priest

The Southern Cross, February 2023 | Fr Santhosh Nazareth CSC

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Arriving in Adelaide in the middle of the busy Advent season, new international priest Fr Santhosh Nazareth CSC didn’t take long to find his feet.

A day after touching down at Adelaide Airport on December 8, the 40-year-old priest from the Congregation of Holy Cross was joining Fr Anthoni Adimai in celebrating the Year 6 graduation Mass at Nazareth School and was soon assisting fellow CSC Fr Lancy D’Silva in the Sacred Heart parish (Hindmarsh-Findon).

 

01 Feb 2023

Sally fulfilling childhood dream

The Southern Cross, February 2023 | Sr Sally Duigan OLSH

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Sr Sally Duigan OLSH, director of the Holy Family Care Centre in Limpopo, South Africa, was back in her home city of Adelaide visiting family and friends late last year. She spoke to JENNY BRINKWORTH about her work with orphans and vulnerable children in the Diocese of Tzaneen.

At the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa, there were times when Sr Sally Duigan’s faith was put to the test as she witnessed the devastating impact on families.

17 Dec 2022

Privileged to be present in people’s lives

Emeritus Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ

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It should have been one of the best days of his life. After 14 years of Jesuit studies and preparation for the priesthood and the day after his ordination on December 9 1972 in St Ignatius Church, Norwood, Fr Greg O’Kelly was celebrating his first Mass at Holy Name Church, St Peter’s, when tragedy struck.

Two Jesuits, seminarian Dr Marc Playoust, who was due to be ordained the following month, and Fr Bill Holland, were killed in a car accident while driving back from Sevenhill to attend the Mass.

10 Nov 2022

Clocking up combined century of priesthood

The Southern Cross November 2022 | Fr Densley and Fr Brennan

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Fr Tony Densley and Fr Michael Brennan were ordained at a time of great excitement and hope for the Catholic Church as the reforms of Vatican II were being implemented around the world. Fifty years later, they reflected on their experience of priesthood with Jenny Brinkworth.

Father Tony Densley was happily working on his father’s farm in Keith when his “guardian angel” kept nagging him about becoming a priest. “If your guardian angel is poking you, you can resist for a long time but in the end you’ve got to say yes,” he told The Southern Cross.

Father Michael Brennan - It took Father Michael Brennan a while to work out that being a priest didn’t mean having to save the world, let alone the Church and everyone in it. The first hint that maybe he was trying too hard came the year after he was ordained when he went to visit Bishop Philip Kennedy. “He said your hands are shaking and I said ‘that’s why I’ve come to see you’,” Fr Michael recalled.

09 Nov 2022

Prospering after prison

The Southern Cross, November 2022 | Sisters Delma Rani, Elizabeth Royan and Sheela Thomas

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In the past year, 21 Aboriginal women were assisted in the development of personal and financial resilience, living skills, cultural healing, spiritual support and community connection under the guiding and dedicated care of three Sisters of Saint Anne of Chennai: Sisters Delma Rani, Elizabeth Royan and Sheela Thomas.

One of the key principles at Mercy Works is to walk with vulnerable people, to empower them to take responsibility for their lives and become their own agents of change. Mercy Works’ Prospering After Prison pilot project, based in Port Augusta, is a partnership with Centacare Catholic Country and has been running for two years, providing holistic care for Aboriginal women leaving prison to enable them to prosper in their community.

01 Aug 2022

The gaze of God

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Fr Dean Marin

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In his message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations earlier this year, Pope Francis said: “…in every vocation, we are met with the gaze of God, who calls us. Vocation, like holiness, is not an extraordinary experience reserved for a few. Just as there is a ‘holiness of the saints next door’ (Gaudete et Exsultate), so too there is a vocation for everyone, for God’s gaze and call is directed to everyone.”

01 Aug 2022

The call of the heart

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc

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Celebrating the big moments and seemingly little moments in life are so important for our wellbeing and our life together.  They give us the opportunity to become more aware of what is important to us and to develop our relationships with one another. The joie de vivre of what celebrations offer, helps us too, to share in and express what it is that we truly value.

01 Aug 2022

No regrets for a man of the people

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Fr George Nader

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Fr George Nader turned up to celebrate Mass on Kangaroo Island one Sunday wearing dark sunglasses, not because it was a particularly sunny day but because he had a black eye from playing Aussie Rules footy the day before.

A member of the Kingscote 1970 premiership team, Fr Nader is one of a handful of South Australian priests who continued to play sport after their ordination – Bishop Eugene Hurley and Fr Adrian Noonan are two others that come to mind.

01 Aug 2022

Platinum jubilee for Monsignor Aitken

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Fr Robert Aitken

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When a fresh-faced 23-year-old Robert Aitken was ordained in 1952, Pope Pius XII was head of the Church, Robert Menzies was prime minister of Australia and a loaf of bread cost seven cents.

Much has changed in the world over the ensuing 70 years but a constant has been Monsignor Aitken’s great love of the Eucharist and the Mass.

01 Aug 2022

Rolling with the times

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Fr Robert Egar

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Serving as a priest since 1957, Monsignor Rob Egar (or Fr Rob as he likes to be known) says he has learned to “roll with the punches” in an ever-changing world and Church.

01 Aug 2022

Celebrating where it all began

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Fr John Swann

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It was a case of life going full circle when Monsignor John Swann celebrated Mass at St Rose of Lima Church, Kapunda, last month – on the anniversary of the day he was ordained to the priesthood in the very same church 65 years previously.

Ordained by Archbishop James Gleeson on July 20 1957, Mgr Swann returned to live in the small country town where he grew up when he retired in 2010.

01 Aug 2022

Praying and playing together

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Preca Community

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Before migrating to Australia from Malta three years ago, Robert D’Amato learned from a friend that there was a Preca centre in Adelaide.

He wasted no time getting in touch with Preca Community leader John Micallef who introduced the family of four to other members and invited them to meetings.

In Malta there are Preca centres in almost every town and members provide children with preparation for their sacraments.

01 Aug 2022

From the classroom to Sevenhill

The Southern Cross August 2022 | Fr Kieran Gill SJ

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Since his appointment in January as parish priest of Sevenhill-Clare-Manoora-Riverton in the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Jesuit priest Fr Kieran Gill SJ has been “blessed” to live and work among people of “great generosity”.

Originally from Melbourne, the 38 year old has taken to his new role in the Mid North of South Australia with the same enthusiasm he demonstrated as a school teacher and chaplain at Saint Ignatius’ College, Norwood.

04 Jul 2022

Sister act

The Southern Cross July 2022 | Sr Kathryn Travers rsm

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Life has always been a drama for Mercy Sister Kathryn Travers, but at the age of 83 she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Celebrating the 65th anniversary since joining the Sisters of Mercy in 1957 (and making her profession three years later), Sr Kathryn’s ministry has included teaching at several schools throughout the State and promoting her love of drama with students of all ages.

A mainstay in her life has also been the Therry Dramatic Society, the local group founded by Archbishop Beovich and George Walton in 1943, which is still going strong – despite the effects of a pandemic – nearly 80 years later.

06 Jun 2022

Significant Milestones

The Southern Cross, June 2022 - Sr Slavica Turcic ASC, Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc, Br Peter Faulkner cf

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There was cause for celebration as two Sisters and one Brother in the Archdiocese achieved significant jubilee milestones last month.

On May 1, Sr Slavica Turcic ASC celebrated her golden anniversary of religious profession. Catholic Education SA’s Family Faith Formation advisor, Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc, was guest of honour at a morning tea to acknowledge her anniversary of 40 years of professed life. Brother Peter Faulkner cfc celebrated 80 years membership with the Christian Brothers earlier this year.

03 Apr 2022

Faith a driving force for Josephite

The Southern Cross, April 2022 – Sr Joan Mangan rsj

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It would have been quite a sight…a young nun dressed in a brown habit driving her fellow Sisters of St Joseph around the streets of Adelaide in the 1950s.

And it would have been more surprising to know that inside the car both the driver and passengers were reciting the Rosary, as was expected of them at that time.

Pushing her veil back to improve visibility, Sr Joan Mangan rsj would stop at busy intersections and try to continue praying – while avoiding a collision!

02 Apr 2022

Joyful ordinations during Lent

The Southern Cross, April 2022 - Fr Olek and Fr Anthony

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It was a day of celebration and reflection on a long journey, at times interrupted by a pandemic, as the Adelaide Archdiocese welcomed two new priests into its fold last month.

Anthony Beltrame, 31, and Olek Stirrat, 26, (far left), were ordained by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan in front of family and friends at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on March 12. For the first time in two years there were no density restrictions in South Australia, allowing members of the Catholic community to join the celebration.

02 Apr 2022

Kenyans reconnect for milestone

The Southern Cross, April 2022 – Fr Michael Musyoka Kyuma

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Kenyan priest Father Michael Musyoka Kyuma may have been a long way from home when he celebrated his 25th jubilee at St Joseph’s Church, Brighton, recently but there was plenty to remind him of his African roots.

His brother, sister-in-law, nephew and great nephews joined past and present parishioners and members of the Catholic African community at his anniversary Mass, as did Archbishop Patrick O’Regan and Emeritus Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ.

But it was the presence of a third bishop, Michael Odiwa (pictured), from Homa Bay Diocese in western Kenya, that capped off the day.

02 Apr 2022

Bookmark for vocation

The Southern Cross, April 2022 – Sr Jessika Trieu

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Newly professed Canossian Sister Jessika Trieu admits that if it hadn’t been for a small book with a colourful blue cover catching her eye a few years ago, her faith journey may have taken a completely different course.

The 38 year old, who arrived in Adelaide earlier this year after making her First Vows in Brisbane on January 1, said becoming a Religious Sister was the best day of her life.

As a young woman she prayed for a soulmate in a marriage vocation, but before attending World Youth Day in Poland in 2016 she “surrendered her prayers to the Lord” and this freed her from praying for a “marriage life” and following God’s lead.

07 Mar 2022

So that all may live

Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc

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On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, many communities across the world focused on World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. This year, I celebrate 40 years of lived Religious life. Not many years for those who have lived the vowed life of love for 70 years or more – be they in consecrated life, married life or priesthood! Nonetheless, it is the day-to-day living of all our lives that is important and the moment-to-moment living with our personal response of ‘yes!’ that we each need to celebrate.

01 Mar 2022

Ministry of the mind and soul

The Southern Cross March 2022 | Susan Pollard rsj

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Susan Pollard rsj happily admits she had a mid-life crisis when she turned 40.

After 20 years as a teacher and principal in Josephite schools, she felt the need to take a sabbatical and with the encouragement of her province leadership she embarked on a trip to the UK and Europe that would change her life dramatically.

“Everybody is entitled to a mid-life crisis, I definitely had mine,” she laughed.

“The early forties is a very strategic time. I find that with people I consult to here, and I was truly at the crossroads myself, wondering which way I was going.”

01 Feb 2022

Tributes flow for trailblazing Sister

The Southern Cross February 2022 | Sr Janet Mead rsm

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Sister Janet Mead has been remembered as a much-loved musician, educator and Sister of Mercy who was an advocate for the voiceless and impacted the lives of many.

Sr Janet, 84, died peacefully at home after succumbing to cancer on the morning of January 26, 17 years to the day that she became the first woman to be named South Australian of the Year.

Recognised for her social justice work, she was actively involved in anti-war protests, support for refugees and First Nations people, and fundraising for those in need locally and overseas.

01 Nov 2021

Sr Ratana ready for next challenge

The Southern Cross November 2021 | Sr Ratana Sriwarakul

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Thailand may be a Buddhist country with only 1.14 per cent Christian and 0.5 per cent Roman Catholic but if the diminutive Sr Ratana Sriwarakul is any indication, Catholics certainly punch above their weight.

The Daughter of Charity Sister was born and raised in a small town in the north east of Thailand, the sixth of eight children. After completing her education in a Catholic school she had no intention of becoming a nun and was considering a career in engineering or architecture.

But she went to visit her older sister Chula, who had already joined the Daughters of Charity, and accompanied some of the Sisters who were working with leprosy patients at a government-run leprosarium in Khon Kaen Province.

01 Oct 2021

Four priests celebrate 50 years of ‘being there’

The Southern Cross October 2021 | Frs Vildzius, Morris, Winter and Fountain

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Fr Allan Winter: “As the nine deacons knelt in front of Archbishop Gleeson I noticed that my deacon’s stole was on the wrong way,” Fr Winter told The Southern Cross.

Fr John Vildzius: “Yes, there are the scheduled Masses and sacraments and various meetings, but apart from those I’ve found a priest’s life is full of the unexpected, full of variety,” he explained.

Fr Peter Fountain: He recalled his ordination in a full Cathedral with lots of family in attendance as a very happy occasion. Seating had to be “rationed”, he said, because of the size of the group.

Fr Richard Morris doesn’t remember much about his ordination, except being humbled by “lying on the floor being prayed for”. He said being able to give a blessing after the ordination was also something that stayed with him.

01 Sep 2021

Barefoot and dancing with creation

The Southern Cross | Fr Tom Gleeson

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Finding God happens for people in so many different ways. For Fr Tom Gleeson his moment of spiritual awakening came in the middle of the night in the desert of far north South Australia.

As he danced under the starry sky, the 24 year old felt an amazing energy and yelled out into the stillness of the cold, clear night, ‘I believe in God’!

It’s been more than five decades since the epiphany and now 81 he still remembers the experience as if it was yesterday. He says the revelation that the divine spirit and nature are connected has been a guiding light throughout his life and ministry as a priest.

01 Sep 2021

Afghanistan ruled by the gun: Jesuit

The Southern Cross | Fr Renato Zecchin SJ

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After living in Pakistan for 30 years, Fr Renato Zecchin SJ is saddened to see neighouring Afghanistan plunged into further chaos and despair after the Taliban stormed Kabul last month.

Fr Renato, 74, returned to his hometown of Adelaide in 2019 to take up a position as novice master for the Jesuits at Athelstone.

Prior to that, the Rostrevor College old scholar was working at Loyola Hall in charge of the Jesuit candidates program Ignatian retreats and Non Violent Communication in Lahore and also serving in the Archdiocese of Lahore parishes and in the three Jesuit schools in the city of 15 million people.

02 Aug 2021

Bringing the love of God to people everywhere

The Southern Cross | Sr Helen Armstrong

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Sr Helen Armstrong is adamant she would never have had such a “fascinating life” if she hadn’t been a member of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH).

Her vocation has taken her to places such as the Tiwi Islands, the Philippines and South Africa where she has immersed herself in the local culture and followed her order’s motto of ‘may the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved’.

Sr Helen has taught at OLSH schools in Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin and Bathurst Island, studied spirituality and formation in the United States, supervised novices in Manila, and raised funds and coordinated a program for orphans and vulnerable children in Limpopo, South Africa. Her latest ministry is providing pastoral care in the parish of Henley Beach.

02 Aug 2021

Thankful for 60 years of priesthood with Christ

The Southern Cross | Fr John Chambers

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When Fr John Chambers was ordained on July 1 1961 he made a promise that in every Mass he offered he would thank God for the people in his pastoral care.

Sixty years to the day, at his Diamond Jubilee Mass in Our Lady of Victories Church, Glenelg, Fr Chambers said he had kept that promise to all the “good people who have worked with me, supported me and encouraged me”.

Seated at a portable altar in the sanctuary, Fr Chambers made a subtle reference to his health struggles: “Quite frankly I am surprised to be here with you today … I was even more surprised 60 years ago to be ordained a priest by Archbishop Beovich in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, a day very much like today in weather,” he said.

01 Aug 2021

Evangelisation in today's digital world

The Southern Cross | Br Joshua Nash OMI

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Restrictions imposed during the pandemic have resulted in innovative ways to spread God’s Word and also inspired the topic of seminarian Br Joshua Nash’s Masters thesis.

Last year Joshua and fellow Oblate seminarians and priests found themselves developing new communication skills as they endeavoured to maintain contact with Melbourne parishioners who, like them, were in an extended lockdown.

“Myself and some of the other priests pretty much ordered a whole bunch of stuff from Amazon to set up our little film studio and started filming a whole lot of communications to send out so that people had some sort of spiritual nourishment during those lockdown times,” Joshua said.

01 Aug 2021

Novices overcome COVID challenges

The Southern Cross

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Their novitiate year may not have gone exactly according to plan, but five Passionist novices were able to make their first profession at The Monastery last month.

Arriving in Melbourne in mid-2019 the men, all but one from the Vinh Diocese in central Vietnam, found themselves spending much of their formation in lockdown last year.

Their time, however, was put to good use attending intensive language classes and improving their English.

31 Jul 2021

Are you being called?

The Southern Cross | Sr Jenny Seal fdnsc

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Have you ever wondered about your life and the direction it is taking? Have you ever reflected and listened to the depths of your heart? What do you hear there now? What are you being drawn towards? What are you resisting?

God is in all of this.

God listens to the depths of our heart and calls us to follow close and draw near and to place all our hopes, joys, longings and questionings in the heart of God.

31 Jul 2021

A deepening self-knowledge

The Southern Cross | Fr Rob Morris

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Three years after his ordination in Christchurch, NZ-born Jesuit Fr Rob Morris is now director of the Sevenhill Retreat Centre in South Australia. He was recently interviewed for Jesuit Vocations Australia’s ‘Cuppa with a Jesuit’ video series.

Q: What’s the significance of Sevenhill for Jesuits?

Sevenhill has a very special place in the hearts of the Jesuits in Australia. It’s sort of our “hearth place”. The first Jesuits to come to Australia were Austrians, who arrived in 1848. Sevenhill was the very first place they settled, about two hours north of Adelaide.

I think of Sevenhill as the house of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Our ministry is built around the Exercises, giving people spiritual direction and silent directed retreats.

01 Jul 2021

Missionary Sister heads home to Croatia

The Southern Cross | Sr Maria Cosic asc

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When Sr Maria Cosic asc returns to Croatia on July 27 after 55 years in Australia, she will be sadly missed by both the Croatian community and the tight-knit parish community at St Mary’s Church, North Adelaide, where she has lived for more than 30 years.

Australia wasn’t quite the destination that Sr Maria Cosic had in mind when she told her Mother Provincial that she wanted to be a missionary.

“I was thinking of Africa, or maybe India, but not Australia,” the diminutive and energetic 80-year-old Sister of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ told The Southern Cross.

01 Jun 2021

Postal service brings new priest to order

The Southern Cross | Fr Tony Simbel CP

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Newly ordained priest Fr Tony Simbel CP says you can in part blame the Papua New Guinea postal service for his call to vocation.

Born and raised in the small town of Aitape in the north east of PNG near the Indonesian border, Fr Tony said when he was at a crossroads in his life as a young man it was the mail delivery that set him once again on the path of the priesthood.

“I had been doing bits and pieces – I was involved in youth ministry in the diocese and had a part time job with building construction for some years,” he explained.

06 May 2021

Embracing cultural diversity

The Southern Cross | Fr Roderick O'Brien

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It’s a warm, sunny day in Semaphore and Fr Roderick O’Brien has a spring in his step.

Just a short walk from the presbytery the coastal waters are like glass and the weather is nothing short of perfect for the keen sailor, although the official racing season has ended. Back at home he is in his element cooking one of his wonderful Malaysian curries before preparing to go and visit a patient at the local hospital.

In his own words “life is good” and he is right where God wants him to be.

His ministry on the idyllic Lefevre peninsula is just one of the many different cultural experiences over his 71 years.

03 Apr 2021

Passing on the faith

The Southern Cross | Sr Cecelia Nguyen OP

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Sister Cecilia Nguyen’s own faith was nurtured under the dark cloud of Communism and has survived war, displacement and resettlement in a foreign land. But when the gentle 72-year-old Dominican Sister speaks of her 50 years as a vowed Religious, it is her role in passing on the faith to Vietnamese children and young people that is uppermost in her mind.

“If children and youths do not know God, they therefore cannot love God,” she told The Southern Cross.

“If they do not love God then they cannot listen to their conscience and cannot spread God’s Word. Their journey through life will surely be empty and meaningless.”

Sr Cecilia was only six years old when her family of nine was forced to leave North Vietnam after the Communists gained control.

Like many other Catholic families fleeing religious persecution, they arrived in South Vietnam with “no money, no belongings, no shelter” and relied on support from the South Vietnam Government.

02 Apr 2021

Bernadette commits to the love of God

The Southern Cross | Bernadette Toohey

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Former Adelaide marketing graduate and youth minister Bernadette Toohey has taken her final vows as a Sister of the Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL).

More than 200 friends, family and fellow Religious gathered in Canberra for the celebration of her perpetual vows.

Bernadette began discerning the call to religious life in her mid-twenties and joined the Missionaries of God in 2012.

“Happily single for many years, it wasn’t until I attended a bunch of weddings in a short space of time that I realised I needed to discern my vocation,” she said.

01 Apr 2021

Assembly crucial in shaping future of local Church

The Southern Cross | Fr James McEvoy

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A Diocesan Assembly planned for September, together with the ongoing Plenary Council, will play a “crucial” part in shaping the future of the Catholic Church in Australia, according to respected local theologian Fr James McEvoy.

On the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination and after more than three decades teaching and writing about theology – much of it looking at how faith and religion fit in today’s world – Fr McEvoy is optimistic that the Church is heading in the right direction.

01 Apr 2021

Listening the key to prison chaplaincy

The Southern Cross | Helena Sweeney

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An enduring memory from Helena Sweeney’s time as a prison chaplain is watching a woman being escorted by officers on her way to freedom.

The prisoner called out to the other women in the exercise yard ‘love you’ and the women yelled back ‘love you too’.

Helena said to the woman sitting next to her ‘they really mean that, don’t they? They really do love each other?’

“She turned to me and said ‘Helena, I’m in my 60s, I hate being here in jail, but I can honestly say that this is the first time in my life, here in this place, that I have ever felt loved’.”

01 Apr 2021

Empty pews and crowded hospitals

The Southern Cross | Fr Stephen Howe

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After growing up in Adelaide, Fr Stephen Howe was ordained a deacon by the late Archbishop Wilson in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in June 2014 and a priest at St John Lateran Basilica in Rome in December of 2014.

Now based at St Peter and St Denis Church, Yonkers, the Legionary priest spent much of his time during the worst of the COVID outbreak last year visiting and providing the Anointing of the Sick to his parishioners and, sadly, ministering at many funerals.

One of the ministries to which his priestly vocation called him was attending to the sick and dying at St John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers. In the spring of 2020, the small hospital was inundated with patients suffering from COVID; at the peak of the pandemic, all of the hospital’s 150 beds, plus another 30 beds placed in converted office space, held COVID patients, and a refrigerator truck was required when the morgue reached capacity.

05 Mar 2021

Six hour ceremony for Kenyan bishop

The Southern Cross | Bishop Michael Odiwa

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The Adelaide Archdiocese is a long way from Homa Bay, Kenya, but the two dioceses were united by the ordination and installation of Bishop Michael Odiwa at a colourful ceremony on the grounds of the local high school last month.

The former Hectorville parish assistant priest was given a rock star welcome by his home diocese a week after he left Adelaide to take up his new appointment.

05 Mar 2021

From missionary medico to a contemplative life

The Southern Cross | Sr Thérèse-Marie én

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A Vietnamese refugee who grew up in Adelaide, graduated from medicine in Melbourne and travelled the world helping the poor and vulnerable as a missionary doctor, has made her solemn vows as a Carmelite Sister in Launceston, Tasmania.

Sr Thérèse-Marie én of the Eucharist has embraced a hidden life of prayer and sacrifice following her profession on December 14 at a Mass celebrated by Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous and Emeritus Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ who was her headmaster at Saint Ignatius’ College in Adelaide.

01 Feb 2021

Grateful for the gift of religious life

The Southern Cross | Sr Teresa Cooper RSJ

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Ahead of her 100th birthday Sister Teresa Cooper spoke about her journey from farm girl to Josephite.

Proudly clutching her birthday card from Queen Elizabeth, Sr Teresa Cooper says not in her wildest dreams did she expect to reach 100.

“I nearly didn’t last my birth because I was a premature baby,” she told The Southern Cross ahead of her special birthday celebration with family and friends on December 30.

07 Dec 2020

Priest of the People

The Southern Cross | Fr Bob Wilkinson

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From serving as editor of The Southern Cross to being amongst the people in parishes and neighbourhood communities, Fr Bob Wilkinson has been an effective and respected communicator over his 65 years in the priesthood.

While Fr Bob Wilkinson has had to adapt to significant changes in society and the Church since his ordination in 1955, one aspect that has remained constant throughout his ministry has been his enduring love of people.

A good communicator and listener, he has provided support for people from all walks of life and faith backgrounds, as they struggle in times of sorrow or celebrate in times of joy. Generous with his time, he is respected for his sincerity and compassion, his great storytelling abilities and a wicked sense of humour.

07 Dec 2020

Walking alongside those in need

The Southern Cross | Fr Stan Lim SJ

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Whether it was helping street kids in the Philippines, holding the hands of dying homeless men in Melbourne or teaching students in Adelaide how to play Aussie Rules footy, Fr Stan Lim SJ says in his 50 years of ministry he has always felt he was “where I was meant to be”.

Now living back in Adelaide where he is an assistant priest at St Ignatius parish, Norwood, it has been an interesting and well-travelled journey for the 82-year-old Jesuit.

Born to Chinese parents who met in Singapore, Fr Stan said he may not have had the opportunity to serve God at all if events in his early days had played out as they were meant to.

01 Oct 2020

Humbled to be welcomed into people's lives

The Southern Cross, October 2020 | Fr Peter Sheedy

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Raised in a staunch Catholic family at Semaphore, Fr Peter Sheedy believes his call to the priesthood came early in life, when he started serving as an altar boy at Sacred Heart Church.

“In those days just before we celebrated Mass at seven in the morning the Sisters would come from the convent and would chant morning prayer in the side chapel,” the now 75 year old recalled.

“So getting ready for Mass, there was this chanting going on in the background and all of it combined to say, this is something special. I think that was drawing (me) into that mystique.”

He continued to serve at the church nearly every day until he joined the minor seminary at Rostrevor at the age of 16, and upon completing his secondary schooling embarked on his journey to the priesthood.

01 Oct 2020

Doors open for shy priest with an eye for detail

The Southern Cross, October 2020 | Fr Maurice Shinnick

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As Master of Ceremonies at some of the biggest events in the life of the Adelaide Archdiocese over the past few decades, Fr Maurice Shinnick is no stranger to the limelight.

His passion for liturgy, recognised by successive bishops, took him to the balcony of the Adelaide Town Hall for the visit of Pope John Paul II where he coordinated his blessing of the city, a role usually reserved for the Pope’s own Master of Ceremonies.

Two episcopal installations, the funeral of Archbishop Leonard Faulkner and the State funeral of Dame Roma Mitchell are just a few of his other notable liturgical achievements.

03 Aug 2020

Reflecting on 75 years as a Marist Brother

The Southern Cross, August 2020 | Brother Jordan Redden

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As a young boy from the Mid-North boarding at Sacred Heart College in 1940, Chris Redden spent his Saturdays playing tennis at Memorial Drive in the morning and swimming at Somerton beach in the afternoon.

Having a tennis court back on the farm at Whyte Yarcowie near Jamestown helped him make the prestigious ‘Drive’ team in his first year at the college but the most impressive thing for Chris was that he got to play with new tennis balls.

“The bad part is that while I was playing tennis, the other boarders were back at school learning Latin and French, so it didn’t do too much for that,” Br Jordan, 94, recalled.

02 Aug 2020

Sarah-Jane’s big adventure

The Southern Cross, August 2020 | Sarah-Jane Hollitt

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Growing up Sarah-Jane Hollitt hoped that one day she would get married and have a big family, but a visit to the Milan Duomo sent her life into a completely different direction.

Working in Italy as an au pair during holidays from her nursing studies in Adelaide, Sarah-Jane was at a crossroads in her life and her faith was wavering. However, while attending a Mass at the cathedral she had “a beautiful experience of God’s love” and knew the profound moment was going to “change my life in a lot of ways”.

02 Aug 2020

'Invisible hand’ helps to keep Mass running smoothly

The Southern Cross, August 2020 | Michelle Tie

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If you’ve ever attended a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, chances are you will recognise the face of Michelle Tie.

Not that she seeks the spotlight – quite the opposite – but as the head MC at the Cathedral, Michelle is the person who quietly and unobtrusively works behind the scenes to ensure the Mass runs smoothly.

“I talk quietly and do a lot of ‘talking’ when I’m not talking at all,” she told The Southern Cross during a break from her job as a hospital pharmacist.

01 Aug 2020

Being with the people

The Southern Cross, August 2020 | Fr Michael Musyoka Kyumu

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When the doors of churches reopened for Masses in May, Fr Michael Musyoka Kyumu felt blessed that he could once again “worship, celebrate, sing and pray” with his congregation.

“The first time we celebrated Mass – with 10 people – I thought, wow, you don’t realise what you miss until it is taken away from you,” the Brighton parish priest said.

“You appreciate much more their relationship with you. We could celebrate, we could sing, we could pray together and it’s like a ‘new heaven, a new earth’.

01 Aug 2020

Continuing the Josephite mission in Peru

The Southern Cross, August 2020 | Sister Katrina Van Ruth

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Adelaide Josephite Sister Katrina Van Ruth has been living in Peru for the past 10 years and in a short space of time has seen the divide between the haves and have nots dramatically increase due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Although Peru acted swiftly when the pandemic first commenced spreading its tentacles around the world, we have been unable to curtail its progression and now have more than 12,200 deaths with an average of 175 deaths a day and more than 3500 new cases each day – with no let-up,” Sr Katrina, 72, told The Southern Cross via email.

“There is very real poverty in many areas which has been exacerbated by this recent pandemic…the gains made to the betterment of life for many Peruvians over the past 20 years or so has, in many cases, been lost during these last four months.”

31 Jul 2020

Eka finds home with the Jesuits

The Southern Cross, August 2020 | Eka Tanaya

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After moving from one Catholic parish to another, Eka Tanaya finally had an epiphany and felt at home when he visited St Mary’s Church in North Sydney, which is under the care of the Jesuits.

Educated by the Jesuits growing up in Jakarta, Eka said that at St Mary’s he was reminded of Ignatian spirituality and it struck a chord with him.

“It was kind of weird because I was doing this church-hopping thing, going from one Catholic church to another in Sydney for Mass, but not the one that was closest to my house which was part of the Jesuit parish in North Sydney, St Mary’s,” he said.

01 Jul 2020

Life lessons for seminarians

The Southern Cross newspaper – July 2020

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‘Holiness isn’t for wimps!’ That has been one of the life lessons learned by seminarian Anthony Beltrame during the challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic.

Together with fellow sixth year seminarian Olek Stirrat, Anthony returned to Adelaide just before South Australia closed its borders in March and has spent the past three months at St John Bosco in Brooklyn Park under the guidance of parish priest Fr Peter Zwaans.

Anthony said the unplanned time back home had resulted in some worthwhile life experiences and unexpected blessings.

01 Nov 2019

On the path to ordination

The Southern Cross newspaper – November 2019

Nervousness, happiness and a sense of joy were just some of the emotions experienced by Olek Stirrat (left) and Anthony Beltrame as they declared their intention to join the priesthood on September 29.

Before Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, family, friends and members of their local parishes, the seminarians made their admission to candidacy in a ceremony during Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

“Before the Mass I was somewhat nervous. It’s a big thing to publically announce your intention to become a priest,” said Anthony.

31 Oct 2019

African priest ready to walk alongside SA parishioners

The Southern Cross, November 2019 | Fr Paul Mwaura Gicheha

He’s walked alongside the Maasai people in Kenya and now the Archdiocese’s newest international priest is looking forward to getting in step with the people of South Australia.

Fr Paul Mwaura Gicheha from the diocese of Ngong, Kenya, arrived in Adelaide mid-September and has been getting to know the staff within the Archdiocese, visiting local parishes and seeing the sights of the city – by foot, of course. 

Ordained in 2004, Fr Mwaura has spent the majority of his time as a priest working with members of the Maasai community who are well known for their nomadic lifestyle.

01 Sep 2019

Pathway to priesthood not always clear

The Southern Cross, September 2019 | Fr William Loh OP

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Observing that Christians tend to be “happier people”, newly ordained Dominican priest Father William Loh OP admitted it took him many years of soul searching and discernment before he was completely happy and at peace with his decision to become a priest.

Now serving as the chaplain at Blackfriars Priory School, Fr William (pictured) told students last month that when he was having fun as a university student in NSW he often felt conflicted with his involvement in the parish youth group.

03 Aug 2019

Sustained by Jesus

The Southern Cross, August 2019 | Sr Majella O'Sullivan rsj

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My destiny was to be a Religious Sister! My destiny was to be a Josephite!

My mother prayed to St Gerard Majella, patron of Religious, for one of her children to be a Religious.

Our house was a house of welcome to Josephite Sisters, priests and Brothers. I had two uncles who were Marist Brothers.

03 Aug 2019

The extraordinary life of Sister Maeve

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019

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With a life story akin to an Indiana Jones movie script, it has taken every ounce of Sister Maeve O’Brien’s trust in Divine Providence to reach the age of 85 after serving with the Daughters of Charity for 68 years.

Her missionary exploits have taken her to the remotest regions of Ethiopia, a refugee camp in northern Congo, the malaria-infested rainforest of Cameroon and Aboriginal missions in outback Australia. From house arrest by Communist soldiers and expulsion from Ethiopia to contracting cerebral malaria, she insists that it is “Divine Providence with Mary, the angels and the saints” that has protected her throughout.

02 Aug 2019

Seminary life Boston style

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019

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‘The best year of my life’ is how James Thomson summed up his first 12 months of study at the Pope St John XXIII National Seminary in Boston.

After much discernment, James, 40, last year decided to quit his job as a credit analyst and head to the USA to study alongside other mature aged seminarians. At the time he knew it was going to be a life-changing event and a year later while back in Adelaide for the holiday break he was happy to share that everything had worked out well.

02 Aug 2019

Drawn to priesthood by Jesuit mission

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019

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For Father Kieran Gill, his calling to the priesthood was more like a “subtle wave of grace” than a “St Paul on the road to Damascus” moment.

“There was no blinding light or anything dramatic like that,” the newly ordained Jesuit told The Southern Cross shortly after his six month appointment to the Jesuits’ Norwood parish.

“It was more about being inspired and learning how to pray, growing in prayer…I felt the Lord subtly drawing me in that way.”

01 Aug 2019

Joshua open to the journey

The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2019

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Spending three months in Lourdes, France, helping young people to engage more with their faith is proving the perfect way for Oblate seminarian Joshua Nash to strengthen his commitment to God and his calling to become a priest.

Joshua, who was born and raised in Adelaide, is currently volunteering in a pilot project for youth evangelisation being run by YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church).

01 Jul 2019

50 years of listening to the people

The Southern Cross newspaper – July 2019

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It isn’t often that one can celebrate 50 years in the same job, yet this is the reality for Father Paul Cashen MSC who on May 31 marked half a century of priestly life.

Fr Paul’s impressive resume includes roles as parish priest, administrator and Vicar General across three separate Australian dioceses since 1969, and being awarded a PhD in 2004.

Despite his achievements, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) priest wanted a ‘no-fuss’ celebration with the Henley Beach and Hindmarsh MSC parishes and wider Adelaide communities. It’s this humility and his focus on others which parishioners and colleagues attribute to his popularity.

12 May 2019

Rev Dr Rice proves you're never too old to learn

The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2019

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At an age when most are happy to sit back, relax and enjoy their retirement, Monsignor Robert Rice decided to venture down a much different path and embark on all-consuming studies to gain his PhD.

Twelve years later, at the ripe old age of 87, the Archdiocesan priest can now proudly call himself ‘Rev Dr Rice’ after graduating with a doctorate in philosophy from Flinders University on April 23.

His research thesis is of great importance to the history of the Catholic Church in Australia as it covers the life of Archbishop James Gleeson and the contribution he made to the implementation of changes which took place in the wake of Vatican II.

11 May 2019

One step closer to priesthood

The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2019

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Pasquale (Pat) Lopresti has moved a step forward on his journey to the priesthood following his ordination to the diaconate in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral last month.

With family, friends, clergy and fellow seminarians present, Pat was ordained deacon by Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, on April 27.

The former Adelaide lawyer was in his fifties when he finally decided to pursue a religious vocation and since 2016 has been studying at the Pope St John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts, USA.

10 May 2019

Maltese connection to Adelaide runs deep

The Southern Cross newspaper – May 2019

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Father Gabriel Micallef OFM came to Adelaide from Malta in 1996 for three months to assist with the closure of the Maltese Franciscan mission.

Twenty three years later he is still here, serving as chaplain to the ageing Maltese community which showed its gratitude and deep affection for the priest when he celebrated his 75th birthday and 50th anniversary as a priest in March.

15 Apr 2019

Seminarians on journey to priesthood

Anthony Beltrame, Blake Crossley, Joshua McDermid, EJ Ibarra and Olek Stirrat

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A teacher, pharmacist and architect are the Archdiocese’s newest seminarians to be called to the vocation of the priesthood.

Blake Crossley, Joshua McDermid and Edward (EJ) Ibarra started their journey at Corpus Christi College in Melbourne earlier this year, joining fifth year students from the Archdiocese, Olek Stirrat and Anthony Beltrame.

15 Apr 2019

Pipe organ music to Ugandan priest's ears

Fr Denis Ssemuju

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With only two pipe organs to be played in his home country of 45 million people, Ugandan priest Fr Denis Ssemuju was thrilled to try his hand on the beautiful Canadian Casavant Freres in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral recently.
Self-taught on the keyboard, Fr Denis also plays the piano to improve his speed, and described the Cathedral’s pipe organ as a real “treasure”.

01 Nov 2018

Faith nurtured in Adelaide blossoms in Nashville

Sr Elena Marie Piteo OP

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When Sr Elena Marie Piteo OP attended World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008 it was the first time she had seen a young Sister in a habit and she was “struck by her joy”.

Returning to Adelaide where she was studying psychology, the former Mary MacKillop student thought little about a religious vocation until she attended an Encountering Christ retreat with the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia in 2011.

Although the order is based in Nashville, Tennessee, the community has had a presence in Sydney since it was invited to help with the preparations for WYD 2008. Subsequently the invitation was extended for the Sisters to become involved in teaching and university chaplaincy in the Sydney Archdiocese and they recently established a house in Melbourne.

01 Oct 2018

Darwin’s retiring bishop reflects on life of great joy

Bishop Eugene Hurley

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God’s call to the priesthood for Bishop Eugene Hurley was gentle, but insistent.

As he counts down his final days as head of the Darwin Diocese, the 78-year-old described that first call to the priesthood as a nagging, vague idea that he might want to be a priest – a feeling that he entertained for many years.

It was only when he left school and found his work in Adelaide’s public service lacked fulfilment that Bishop Hurley decided to ascertain whether priesthood might be a possibility.

01 Oct 2018

Guided by God of surprises

Monsignor Ian Dempsey

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The ‘God of surprises’ has guided Monsignor Ian Dempsey from the time he joined St Francis Xavier Seminary as a 17 year old in 1961 to his retirement as parish priest of Brighton last month.

Mgr Dempsey said his life had been one of “giftedness and challenges”.

“God looks after us in ways mostly unknown to us. The God of surprises.”

01 Oct 2018

Thankful for the grace of God

Fr Anthony Kain

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Father Anthony Kain celebrated the golden anniversary of his ordination with the parish communities of Glenelg and Plympton last month. Here he reflects on his 50 years in the priesthood.

My journey to the priesthood began with a faith-filled family of parents Nell and Bill and siblings Michael, Mary and Peter. Educated at Christian Brothers College and involved in the YCW at St Peter’s, I was inspired by Fr Jim Kelly, our parish priest, and the Holy Name parish, all of which led to my entering the seminary as the Second Vatican Council began in 1962. 

01 Oct 2018

Long service to country parishes

Fr Jack Boog

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Ordained in his home town parish of Tailem Bend, Fr Jack Boog has served many country parishes as well as the Marriage Encounter movement in his 50 years of priesthood.

Members of the Modbury-Para Hills parish gathered on September 9 to celebrate Fr Jack’s golden jubilee and his various ministries for the Church.

Born in Rotterdam during World War II, Fr Jack moved to Australia with his parents, three sisters and brother in 1955. He attended the Dominican School in High St, Glenelg for six months before the family moved to Tailem Bend where his parents lived until retirement.

02 Aug 2018

Boy from Malta heads north for next adventure

Bishop Elect Fr Charles Gauci

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When Maltese priest Father George Preca was canonised in 2007, Pope Benedict said the expression from St John’s Gospel Verbum caro factum est (the Word became flesh) guided his soul and his every action.

In choosing this same phrase for his episcopal motto, Bishop Elect Fr Charles Gauci is demonstrating his strong connection to the man who founded the Society of Christian Doctrine and whose legacy is the worldwide Preca youth movement.

Not only was Fr Gauci an active participant of the Preca Community as a young boy growing up in Malta, he also lived in the same street as Fr Preca and knew him well. Much later, Fr Gauci was one of 10 priests and bishops asked to concelebrate his canonisation Mass in Rome, and he has been actively involved and chaplain to the Preca Community in Australia for many years.

01 Aug 2018

Seed of faith grows into priesthood

Fr Hau Le

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Growing up I enjoyed doing whatever kids enjoyed doing: sport, games, pranks, reading, movies and listening to music.

But underneath it all, there was a constant presence of God as prayer and Mass was practised regularly in our family, and I thank God for this as the faith had to start somewhere.

I became an altar boy in primary school and very soon, gone were the days of daydreaming in the pews as I served at the altar.

01 Aug 2018

Combining faith and football

Fr Adam Crouch

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Father Adam Crouch says he is one of the luckiest people around, being able to live out his two passions – faith and football.

An assistant priest at the vibrant Penshurst parish he is also an assistant coach at the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

A handy midfielder in his day for his native Port Adelaide Football Club, Fr Adam said having a connection through footy gives him a real advantage when dealing with not only young skills but young souls.

01 Aug 2018

US nun brings her Earth mission to Adelaide

Sr Gail Worcelo

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Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Gail Worcelo spent many hours with her Polish grandmother tending the Morning Glory plant growing on the fire escape of their second floor apartment.

It was a rare opportunity for her to connect with earth in the “concrete jungle” of Brooklyn and it had a profound effect on the aspiring young ballet dancer.

Now living at Green Mountain Monastery in Vermont, where she co-founded what is believed to be the world’s first religious community dedicated to healing and protecting Earth and its life systems, Sister Gail recalled her childhood in Brooklyn in an interview with The Southern Cross last month.

01 Jul 2018

Sr Nien revisits the source of her religious vocation

Sr Nien Tran rsm

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Despite becoming a Sister of Mercy in 1991, Sr Nien Tran remains closely connected to the Congregation of the Lovers of the Holy Cross which she joined as a 19-year-old woman in Saigon, Vietnam.

After spending six years studying in France, Sr Nien returned to Vietnam in 1974 to take up a teaching ministry in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), only to find it on the brink of capitulation to the Communists from the North.

Nine months after she returned, on the historical day that Saigon fell (April 30 1975), she and nine Sisters in her congregation were forced to jump on a boat making its way to the Philippines. With nothing but some rice and a family photo album in her possession, she spent two months at sea before arriving in Guam where the US Government had established a transit camp.

01 Jun 2018

Memorable anniversary Mass for Fr McGearty

Fr Sean McGearty

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When Father Sean McGearty arrived in Adelaide in 1958, less than six months after being ordained a priest in Ireland, he was greeted at Outer Harbour by the then Administrator of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Father Leonard Faulkner, on behalf of Archbishop Matthew Beovich.

Six decades later, Fr McGearty sent out invitations to his diamond anniversary Mass and one of the first people to accept was Emeritus Archbishop Leonard Faulkner.

01 May 2018

Sr Anna's mission brings Italian community together

Sr Anna Genovese SJBP

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When Sr Anna Genovese SJBP arrived at the Pastorelle Sisters’ home in Payneham in 2000 it didn’t take long for her to survey the local area and form a plan for the task that lay ahead of her.

As pastoral associate in the parish she knew she needed to make contact with the locals and so quickly found a map showing all the streets in the area and set about using her Italian heritage – and unwavering faith – to make a connection with the faithful.

06 Aug 2017

Discover the perennial attraction of Jesus

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As we celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week from August 6-13, Adelaide Archdiocese’s director of Vocations Fr Dean Marin outlines Pope Francis’ message of hope and encouragement.

In his World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis has once again written inspiring and encouraging words. He speaks of every Christian as a “Christopher, a bearer of Christ, to his brothers and sisters”.

05 Aug 2017

Everyone's job to promote vocations

Fr Josy Sebastian MSFS

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Visiting parishes, youth groups and schools is all part of a day’s work for Fr Josy Sebastian MSFS who is the most recent addition to the Archdiocese’s Vocations team.

04 Aug 2017

Family and marriage focus for long-serving priest

Mgr John Swann

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An unmarried priest counselling couples preparing to wed about their relationship and demands of family life might seem a contradiction, but for Monsignor John Swann it has been a hallmark of his 60 years in the priesthood.

Healing ministry for Michelle

Sr Michelle Goh RSM

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Combining a medical career with a religious vocation might sound daunting but Michelle Goh says both are helping her to “be the best person that God has made me to be”.

Boyhood wish comes true for Fr John O'Doherty OMI

Fr John O’Doherty OMI

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From an early age, Brisbane-born John O’Doherty OMI was attracted to the life of a missionary but it wasn’t until he was in his mid-20s and embarking on a career in the insurance industry in country New South Wales that he decided to do something about it.

Mary chooses the riches of religious life

Sr Mary Ryan RSJ

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At 21 years of age, Mary Ryan appeared to have the world at her feet. She had a great job with good future prospects and was well paid – bringing home more than twice that of her father. But despite her “success”, something was missing in her life.

Stepping up to the challenge

Fr Jeevan Gabriel SMM

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Chances are that if you meet Fr Jeevan Gabriel SMM he will be wearing comfortable shoes. Old habits die hard for the Indian priest who for four years walked thousands of kilometres through the mountains of his homeland serving the people of the Shanthi Nagar Tribal Mission.

Indian priest finds inspiration in Adelaide

Fr Santiago Fernandes SFX

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Father Santiago Fernandes SFX is pleased that besides a trip to the Holy Land, his first journey outside his home of India has taken him to a place where his “inspiration” – St Francis Xavier – has a strong presence.

At home in the parish

Fr Leon Czechowicz

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Not many children know what they want to be at age 16, but for Leon Czechowicz his strong Catholic upbringing was the catalyst for him joining St Francis Xavier Seminary in 1960.

Final vows for Sr Tram

Sr Tram Nguyen OP

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Sr Tram Nguyen admitted to feeling both “excited and nervous” when she made her final profession as a Dominican Sister in the North Adelaide Congregation on March 18.

Vocation to priesthood a personal experience

Archbishop Philip Wilson