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News around the Diocese - No. 27 - April 2009




This issue of Our Diocesan Community higlights some of the ways the quality of leadership contributes to life around the Diocese. At the heart of any Christian leadership are these words of Pope John Paul II: "Permit me to go immediately to the heart of my message. It is this : Jesus Christ needs you for the building up of his Kingdom on earth. And the Church needs your special gifts, individually and collectively, to fulfill her mission of communicating Christ. Moreover, millions of your fellowmen and women count on your services in order to live worthy lives in accordance with their human and Christian dignity." (Manila, February 27, 1981) May we all continue to respond to this challenge.


We are the Catholic Church in the Ballarat Diocese. We gather in the name of Jesus from the Murray to the Sea in interwoven faith communities. Spirit-filled, we celebrate and share our journey reaching out to nurture all God's people.

Draft Vision Statement for the Diocese

FR DAN ARUNDELL, visiting Priest for the Sea Lake Parish, celebrated his final Masses for the communities of the Parish on January 25. For the past six years, Fr Dan, who is officially retired, has travelled fortnightly from Ballarat to celebrate Mass (or as required for weddings and funerals) in Sea Lake, Nandaly and Culgoa. Alternate weekends he served the Ouyen Catholic parish. Following 7.00 p.m. Mass in Nandaly on Saturday evening and 8.30 a.m. Mass and 11.00 a.m. Mass held in Sea Lake and Culgoa on Sunday morning (respectively), the congregations gathered to thank Fr Dan for his contribution over the past six years and to wish him well in his new appointment. Nandaly parishioners gathered in St. Joseph's church for dinner and a social evening. Chris Hall spoke on behalf of the congregation in thanking Fr Dan for his constant travelling and spiritual direction afforded parishioners. His time and effort has been most appreciated. Similar gatherings were held in Sea Lake and Culgoa where, following Mass, Fr Dan spent time reminiscing with parishioners and humbly accepting many thanks and well wishes. The St. Mary's Parish (encompassing the three communities) presented Fr Dan with a gift certificate and a card signed by all present. Fr Dan responded saying that he was sad to be leaving but the people of the district will be fondly remembered. He thanked Parish Leader, Sr Margaret Brown and everyone most sincerely for all that had been done for him over his six years in the Mallee.

Farewell to Father Dan

Farewell to Sister Margaret

In February, the Sea Lake Parish agained gathered to bid farewell. Bishop Peter Connors was the celebrant for the Mass in St. Mary's Church, Sea Lake which officially opened the school year and farewelled Parish Leader, Sr Margaret Brown. The church was packed with St. Mary's students, staff and their families, parishioners and several members of the Sea Lake Uniting Church who had come to wish Sr Margaret all the best. At the end of the celebration St. Mary's Primary School leaders for 2009 were asked to come forward. They were blessed by Bishop Connors and presented with their badges by Sr Margaret. School Captains for 2009 are Nakia Nunn and Joel Clohesy. Vice Captains are Nash Kerr, Ebony McLean, Alice Kelly and Chloe Martin. After Mass everyone remained in the church as a special tribute was presented to Sr Margaret. An audio visual presentation featured photographs of Sister as well as thoughts, reminisces and good wishes from the children. Accompanying the presentation was one of Sister's favourite pieces of music, `The Irish Blessing.' After the presentation all were invited to a farewell luncheon held at the school. All enjoyed a barbecue, salads and sweets. The large crowd was clear evidence of how highly regarded Sr Margaret is held in the Sea Lake and district community. St. Mary's School Principal, Darren McDonald, spoke of how important Sr Margaret had been to school, parish and community life over the past six years and how sorely she would be missed. Mr McDonald also reminded everyone that this was Sr Margaret's second stint in Sea Lake. During her previous appointment she had taught many of the current students' parents. Very early in her vocation (in Gippsland), Sr Margaret had even taught one current student's grandmother! St. Mary's parishioners (which includes Sacred Heart in Culgoa and St. Joseph's in Nandaly) and friends of Sr Margaret were then invited to speak. All paid tribute to her good nature, genuine compassion and tireless service to the parish. Sr Margaret gave a heartfelt response, thanking everyone for their kind words. She said that her friends in the Mallee would be remembered. With a few tears but much love and laughter, Sr Margaret was wished all the best as she goes forward on her spiritual journey.

With thanks ­ Articles by courtesy of "Sea Lake & Wycheproof Times Ensign"

A joint publication of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and the Catholic Education Office of Ballarat. The Editorial Committee of Our DiOCEsan COmmuniTy wishes to thank the many people who have contributed to this issue. We also acknowledge the support through sponsorship of the Catholic superannuation Fund, Catholic Church insurances, the Ballarat Catholic Development Fund and australian Catholic university - aquinas Campus. EDITORIAL BOARD Sr Anne McMillan, Mr Allen Moloney, Sr Geraldine Mugavin, Mr Peter Schreenan, Mr. John Corrigan, Mrs Jenny Kingston, Ms. Fiona Tonkin, Mr. Peter Kerwan During 2009, ODC will be published in April, September and December. All contributions to ODC may be forwarded to: OUR DIOcESAn cOMMUnITy, PO Box 576, Ballarat 3353. Phone: (03) 5337 7179 Fax: (03) 5333 5148 Email: [email protected]

our diocesan community (odc)


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

"Leadership is a responsibility offered..."

FR LEO DONNELLY, Columban Father, born and bred in Ballarat, now lives in retirement in Peru after spending over 50 years of missionary life there. A leader also has to know how to pool diversity thus finding ways to challenge the Lie of prestige that governs so much of our world. Because of this it demands a capacity to take on board different opinions. A real leader enjoys a capacity to generate initiative that enables. Leadership is a responsibility offered by a community and its core value is a genuine care for those people. Leadership is not: · a quest for Prestige, the insidious third part of the Lie in our world, unfortunately present in nearly all. (Greed and Power rate first and second but are more exclusive); · theatre, which is an essential part of our nature, so roles and apparel are important, but, in their place. I find I shudder at the years of clerical garb blatantly screaming at people: "Hey, look at me, I'm someone". I lament the time spent in building, in administration, in the endless hours of bureaucracy. How then might a priest be a leader ? a. caring for people, simply as persons; b. being ever ready to listen and loath to command; c. bringing the best out of others, so drawing each one to personhood; d. being credible by sharing all aspects of people's lives; e. by simply being there for others.

Born in Ballarat on February 17, 1932, Leo began his primary education at St Aloysius' Parish School, Redan and went on to St Patrick's College, Ballarat for his secondary schooling. He began his Spiritual Year for the missionary priesthood in 1951 at St Columban's, Wahroonga, returning to Essendon for philosophy and then back to Wahroonga for theology. He was ordained to the Priesthood on July 21, 1957 at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat by Bishop J.P. O'Collins. Appointed to Lima, Peru, he arrived there in April 1958. In those days the Mass and the sacraments were in Latin. He began parish pastoral work without language studies in Spanish. He spent 1969-70 in Tamshiyacu on the Amazon, standing in for a sick American friend. In 1972 he spent a short time with the Carthusians in Vermont and on returning to Lima was elected Director of the Region in 1974, a role he held until 1980. Those were demanding times as the Church went through a painful transition after the Second Vatican Council and in Peru these were followed by years of Shining Path terrorism. Returning to Australia his main task was Vocations Director for the Australia/New Zealand Region. Leo returned to Peru in 1986. In 1990 he was appointed to Huasahuasi in the Andes, 350kms east of Lima. During his time there, guerrillas who were terrorising the countryside executed among many others, Australian Josephite Sr Irene McCormick. Concurrent with this appointment was his role as Vice Regional Director. He retired from formal pastoral work in 2005 but continues to assist in parishes on request. We asked Fr. Leo to reflect on Leadership from his perspective as a leader among the many communities he has served during his fifty-plus years of service. He writes: "I would like to highlight how I see what leadership is and perhaps for clarity what it is not. Leadership is:· Having clear goals in mind and being convinced of their value; · Then adjusting one's life in that direction, coupled with the gift of how to communicate one's goals to others; · Displaying a willingness to delegate with trust that will inspire; · Accompanying, walking with, rubbing shoulders, accepting discrepancy. Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

And some final words from Leo written for an article "Why Go Back? in the Far East, January-February 2009. "Our people in Peru see missionaries as persons, just as the `ritually unclean' saw Jesus. Being prepared to spend our lives with and for them is a beginning; most of their own experience of life is of being betrayed. To help annul this suspicion, our identification has to be confirmed in death and burial shared with them ­ for some of us at least. Staying with them, dying and being buried with them is a proven powerful witness. It denies we are there for some motive of our own. It affirms we see them as persons, as equals. The kingdom of God is about being equal in dignity."

With thanks to "The Far East" for the photographs.



Sunday 15 February saw Australian Catholic University (Ballarat Campus) welcome new students and their families to the 2009 academic year. About 150 excited ­ and a little apprehensive ­ new students, together with their families and friends as well as staff of the University, gathered in the lovely gardens of the Campus. Fr Greg Tait, chaplain to the campus, presided at the Mass to celebrate the start of a new academic year. Campus Dean, Anne Hunt, also extended a special welcome to the University's first cohort of "Early Achievers," students who were accepted into the University on the basis of their contributions to their local communities in community service and leadership, rather than just their ENTER score. "We have chosen you," she explained, "not just on the basis of a ENTER score, but on who you are and the kind of person you are becoming." She went on to say that ACU, having selected the "Early Achievers" on the basis of their contributions to their local communities, looked forward to the students' contributions to the life of the University. ACU's aim, she said, "is to produce graduates who will go on and help build a better and more just world." "University education," she explained, "is not just about how to make a living. It is about how to make a life, a life that is meaningful and worthwhile." ACU Ballarat has seen an unprecedented growth in student's numbers, with almost 300 new students commencing in 2009 in teaching, early childhood education, nursing and paramedicine programs. Most students coming to the ACU Ballarat Campus come from Victoria, with many from the Diocese of Ballarat. But some students come from much further afield, some even from overseas, with one student from USA at ACU Ballarat in a student exchange program. ACU Ballarat provides accommodation and a lot of pastoral support for new students at its Camillus Residences. Professor Hunt said that, in the light of the growing number of students studying at the Ballarat Campus, plans are in train to increase student accommodation and support services.

Australian Catholic University, Ballarat Campus Dean, Associate Professor Anne Hunt OAM

Associate Professor Anne Hunt welcomes a new student.

Bishop Connors with 2008 ACU students at Aquinas

"Bethesda" - A Place of Rest

Many people come to Ballarat from the country areas of the Diocese because they have doctor appointments, someone in hospital or need for a time of respite. "Bethesda" is a short term accommodation house run by the Sisters of Mercy in Ballarat, which may be of assistance. Located at 129 Victoria Street, Ballarat East, "Bethesda" is within walking distance to the centre of the city, across the road from St. Alipius' Church, has a bus stop close by and limited off road parking. "Bethesda" offers short term self-catering accommodation at reasonable cost. For information, bookings and application forms contact: Sr. Kathleen Moran on 0428 730872 or (03) 53311983 (calls between 9am & 8pm).


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

Leadership in Community Care

SOUTHERN CROSS CARE (Vic) (SCCV) was founded by the Knights of the Southern Cross in 1969. Today it is a highly respected provider of aged and community care services and housing and independent living options across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Building on 40 years of experience and our Christian values, our dedicated team of 1,100 personnel and over 300 volunteers are committed to providing services designed to promote client choice through a range of care. Many of our clients live alone both in town and rurally, a high percentage of clients suffer from dementia. In Ballarat, SCCV operates from St Columba's old presbytery building in Armstrong Street North and provides Commonwealth Government funded aged care packages to frail aged living in the community. SCCV Ballarat also offers a Home Care Program providing personnel to assist people with personal care, home care and in-home respite care. During 2008 SCCV embarked on a special project to cater for our clients, especially those who are socially isolated and have little contact with others. This was in response to growing concerns that many of our clients rarely have the opportunity to enjoy a special outing of any kind and many endure long periods of loneliness, especially those who suffer from dementia. With much planning and consultation with our clients, their carers and the staff of Her Majesty's Theatre, Ballarat, we offered a limited number of our clients the opportunity to attend 3 concerts. The Knights of the Southern Cross were approached to assist in funding the program and graciously and generously agreed to do so. On March 14th, an extremely hot and uncomfortable day, eight clients attended "The Mikado" and the outing was a great success for them. Next, on August 14th followed "Ireland with a Song in my Heart", featuring Annalisa Kerrigan. Thirteen clients attended and enjoyed this wonderful concert, although this time it was raining and cold. Our last outing for the year saw sixteen clients attend "A Very Merry Gaslight Christmas" completing a fantastic musical program for 2008. All in attendance were enthralled. This mainstream entertainment has been a wonderfully rewarding project in which to participate and has brought much joy and magic back into the lives of these frail aged people. For some it was the first visit to Her Majesty's, for others it had been 20 to 30 years since they had attended a musical production. We had some hiccups and funny tales to tell along the way but look forward to continuing this program in 2009. We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Knights of the Southern Cross. Southern Cross Care operates in the local government regions of Moorabool, Golden Plains and the Pyrenees. Should you wish to access the services of SCCV you may phone our office during business hours on 5331 4478.

Kath Ragg - Regional Manager, Care Packages Grampians Southern Cross Care (Vic)


Monivae College Hamilton Principal, Bernard Neal, has just made history by becoming the longest serving Principal at the school when he commenced his tenth consecutive year as Principal of the college in January. The previous longest serving Principal was Father Malcolm Fyfe, who served the Monivae community for nine years. Mr Neal said that he would like to continue his career at Principal level, either at Monivae or perhaps at another college in the future. He said he was very proud to have been involved with the many changes the college had gone through throughout his time. "I feel very proud that I have been a part of a school with a long and proud tradition and history and to have been a part of that history over that period of time gives me a very special feeling of pride and involvement and connection." Mr Neal said that the biggest change in his career with the school had been in the physical changes to the boarding house, the financial management and, most importantly, the educational programs. He said the changes in the college's pastoral care and student behaviour had also undergone massive change. The next change on the horizon is the relocation of the St. Mary's Primary School to the Monivae College grounds. "St Mary's is awaiting approval of their funding application and once they receive that, things will go ahead very quickly." The Golden Jubilee celebrated in 2004 and an overseas study tour were among his highlights of working at the school. "The most memorable experience was the Golden Jubilee in 2004 - as an event, it was spectacular. It celebrated the first 50 years of Monivae's existence and also happened to fall in the same year that we celebrate 150 years of the MSC Order and 100 years of the Order of Australia." MSC Board member, Father Dennis Uhr, was involved with the school as Principal for seven years from 1978 till 1984 and has been an advisor and support to principals and staff for the past three years. Father Uhr said Mr Neal had brought the necessary energy to the college to make it what it is today. "He is a fine Principal. He brought to the school energy, a vision and drive, which the school and the community was looking for. He enabled the school to be almost transformed ­ and I think he has done it very well."

Our Diocesan Community - April 2009



In 2006 two members of the Leadership Team of Marian College in Ararat were privileged to visit Canada with the Catholic Education Study Tour, to look at the concept of Self Directed Learning. From this trip, staff members Darren Hovey and Matthew Summers came back with the idea of implementing certain aspects of what they saw. The end result has been a three year process culminating this year with a full version of the Teacher Student Interview Program (TSI) at Marian College. This program (modelled on the Canadian Teacher Advisor Program) involves all students at the school being formally interviewed once every five weeks by their individually allocated TSI teacher. (We have 24 TSI groups with 20 students in each). These students are arranged vertically to allow the teacher to monitor and track each student through the course of their educational life here at Marian College. This interview takes place between the student and their teacher, with the aid of technology that supplies a written comment from all the students subject teachers. After discussion between the two, a report is immediately sent home to parents, where space is provided for written feedback from them. The school has so far had overwhelming positive feedback from students, staff and parents and has been a major pastoral initiative over the last three years. The bonus for our school has been the improvement in communication between school and home and the major advantage of having a significant adult in the students school life linked to every one of our students. Both Darren and Matthew have also spent some time presenting to a variety of groups and school across Victoria in regards to the model as it currently operates at Marian College. These schools have been both Catholic and government schools, and primary and secondary schools. If you are interested in discussing the program further and the benefits that it could possibly have for your school please do not hesitate to contact Marian College.

John Crowley - Principal

Youth Leadership: Reaping the Returns of WYD

For me and I am sure, many young people, youth leadership in the church is now inextricably linked with the events of World Youth Day in July last year. WYD was a blessing in many ways. For me, it revealed a new life in the church, pulsing with enthusiasm and vitality. Anyone who attended or saw footage of WYD last year could have no doubt of this passion! To watch masses upon masses of people cheering for the Pope and Jesus, or to sense the intimate friendship and camaraderie between fellow pilgrims was a truly profound experience. The fruit of WYD is only just beginning to emerge. Australian Young Christian Workers experienced unprecedented growth after WYD and I'm sure many parishes could attest to a rejuvenated faith in the young people who attended. The seeds have been sown; it is up to the rest of the church to harvest them. Young people bring with them fresh new ideas, optimism and energy, bound by a common love of Christ. They have so much to offer the church and the world in general. It is up to the rest of the community to offer encouragement and support. After all, we are investing in the future!

Siobhan Simper - Warrnambool

Siobhan (second from left) with `the Pope'

*Siobhan was one of the young people from St. Joseph's Parish, Warrnambool who attended World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

Centacare And Wendouree West Exodus Community Work Together

The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Wendouree West Exodus Community and Centacare Diocese of Ballarat Inc. will mean a closer working relationship between the two groups in the future. The MOU has the following aims and objectives: Centacare and the Exodus Community will work together in order to: · break the cycle of poverty, inequity and social injustice for disadvantaged people in Wendouree West; · enhance people's wellbeing and promote social inclusion through re-engagement in the community; · build the capacity of the Ballarat community to enhance the lives of those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. · work closely with other community organizations with a view to providing the help that the community of Wendouree West requires. The MOU will mean that the Exodus Community will be able to draw upon the personnel and resources of Centacare. In turn Centacare will have a direct connection into the Wendouree West Community through Exodus. Under the sponsorship of Centacare, Exodus will also be able to explore funding opportunities from government sources for programs to meet community needs.


Each year, the Rite of Election is held on the first weekend of Lent. This is the time when those around the Diocese, Catechumens and Candidates, who are seeking to become Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children, are presented to the Bishop as part of their journey to the Easter Sacraments.

From Creswick

From Wendouree (top) From Warrnambool (below)

The MOU was signed by David Beaver, Director, Centacare,(left) Diocese of Ballarat, Fr. Frank Smith CssR (centre) representing the Exodus Community and Fr. Gerry Prunty, (right) Parish Priest of Wendouree. The work of Exodus is part of the mission of OLHC Parish Wendouree. A significant benefit for Exodus fundraising is that because of this formal relationship with the work of Centacare, donations are now tax-deductible. Anyone wishing to support Exodus can forward a donation clearly marked WENDOUREE WEST EXODUS COMMUNITY to Centacare, Diocese of Ballarat, PO Box 2537, Bakery Hill, 3354.

The parishes of Ararat, Ballarat Cathedral, Wendouree, Sebastopol, Creswick, Koroit, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Mildura and Ballarat North will be welcoming catechumens and candidates into the Church at Easter. Many gathered in St. Patrick's Cathedral on February 28 to celebrate the Rite of Election and then joined the Bishop for lunch in St. Patrick's Hall.

Our Diocesan Community - April 2009



Pat Dodson, winner of the 2008 Sydney Peace Prize, has absolutely no doubt that both he and his brother Mick, recipient of the 2009 Australian of the Year Award, are where they are today because of Monivae College, Hamilton. They loved Monivae and the western district communities, the farming families who took them in during school holidays and weekends, and the people of Hamilton when they attended the college as boarders in the 1960s. Pat shares this reflection of those times. "Monivae College taught us all about spirit and struggle, generosity, fairness, challenge and debate, community and making a contribution, teamwork and leadership. There was a diligence within the structure about teaching us punctuality, responsibility and accountability, traits important in the forming of young men (it was an all boy school back in those days). The football, study, sporting teams all built a lot of trust and confidence across the cultural divide and developed the spirit of the individual. Monivae was our home with a hundred or more boys sleeping bed by bed in dorms and we were permitted one-minute showers. We were all treated equally regardless of colour or background (except for two older boys from Manilla who were allowed to read the newspaper ­ none of the rest of us were allowed to read it!). We didn't have television at all. We felt that we shared a common fate with everyone else at the college and had a strong sense of belonging. We couldn't go home during holidays (Pat and Mick were orphans) and there was a lovely old lady from Hamilton who would bake cakes and bring them in for us, which was very special. Mick and I were made to feel a bit special too, the majority of the boys stood up for us ­ they were protective of us both. The Gartlan family from Casterton took us in for school holidays and they were really the anchor for both of us. Bernie Bourke from Port Fairy ­ Mick spent time with his family a lot during breaks and he and Bernie were closest mates. We were very poor being orphans and had nothing really, so we worked on farms and stations during the holidays for money and those families were always very generous toward us. Mick was smaller in stature as a young bloke and had lots of blues while we were there. He held the one-mile record so was an excellent distance runner, was in the 1st 18 football side, the Cadets and was Vice Captain of the school. I do remember us always having great rivalry in everything with Hamilton College. They had one very good cricketer but oh, we always just overwhelmed them, we were too good. Monivae gave us the opportunities, not in a patronising way; the college really respected you as an individual. I remember Father Prentice ­ I wanted to go into the college band and he said "No, you have good leadership qualities so you will become a platoon leader instead." That's what they were good at, seeing a strength or quality in someone and guiding them towards it, to get the best out of themselves. Monivae has a lot to be proud of ­ Mick and I both see it as having been integral to our paths in life. Like a true almer mater. At a luncheon hosted recently by the Governor-General for the Australian of the Year Finalists, we were talking with Sally Leake, Programme Manager at Government House in Canberra. Sally is another ex-Monivae student from Coleraine, and we spoke with a sense of pride that we had both come from Monivae. Public speaking classes were very valuable and gave us the skills in responding to questions without notice, public questions, etc. Monivae gave us a sense of standards and values that you should aspire to. There were fantastic teachers there; Father Luby took football and Father Clune was the Bursar. He made me laugh with his favourite saying "You gotta have a system, boys!" I know that had we not gone to Monivae we would not have got the formation or developed the resilience that we have ­ it's as it says ­ "Fortes in Fide" ­ strength in faith (the Monivae motto). It makes you strong in faith, will and solidarity and gives you a sense of friendship, mateship. We have fond memories of the whole experience with Monivae, the township of Hamilton and its people and the farming and broader families of the western district. We were treated kindly by all. I remember a man by the name of Bill Walsh who worked in Thompsons Department Store. He'd say to us, holding up a school uniform, "Look, someone's left this here and doesn't want it ­ so you should take it, here you are". That was such kindness. Then there were the Strangios and their fruit shop and the Hockeys who would give us Boston buns. We had to walk into the town from the college. When asked what lies in store for the Dodson duo next, Pat said laughing "That's easy ­ Mick's gonna reform the country!" Seriously though, he's working on the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights in his role as professor at A.N.U. This is just one of many "projects" Mick is committed to.

Continued next page ..... "Monivae High Achievers at Government House in Canberra ­ Mick Dodson, Sally Leake and Patrick Dodson"


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

`Monivae Responsible' continued ..... I am presently working with the Governor General of Western Australia on the following: · An "Australian Dialogue", a strategic conversation across the nation on the relationship between indigenous people and the Australian nation state about government policy and action on Indigenous people's participation in Australian society; · Youth in the Kimberleys, a conference in July looking at students in secondary school, working on what they can put back into their communities; · A Kimberly conversation with leaders of the region on a range of issues; and · An initiative addressing the alarming and escalating rate of suicide in the region and finding better outcomes for people at risk. Clearly Pat and Mick Dodson will continue to make a great contribution to the future of Australia and it is easy to see why one is a Sydney Peace Prize winner and the other our newest Australian of the Year. Monivae is very proud to have played a part in their formative years and to have given them so many happy memories.

Shared Responsibility of Service

As parishioners of the Cororooke Parish, St. Brendan's Coragulac and St. Joseph's Pirron Yallock, we have been challenged by the implications of change, especially in the last twelve months. Sr. Margaret Carmody SGS concluded her time as Parish Leader in February 2008 and the parish adopted a pilot-model of parish ministry coordinated by Lay Coordinators. From twenty six nominations, three co-coordinators were discerned and accepted voluntary and unremunerated responsibility for the areas of Liturgy, Administration and Community. They were commissioned by Bishop Peter Connors in April 2008. The co-coordinators are embedded in the Parish Leadership Team and along with the Finance Committee, attend to the day-to-day running of the Parish. We strive to focus on an understanding that leadership is a shared responsibility of service ­ not one person doing everything, but everyone doing something. Our Parish has a strong sense of ownership and commitment. We strongly value the participation of our young

Faith Formation

Last year the Diocesan Faith Formation & Spirituality Reference Group (FFSRG), which developed from the Diocesan Assembly provided examples of some of the many initiatives and leadership in faith formation taking place around our Diocese. Here are some further examples: HAMILTON · God Start · Formation for Leaders of Children's Liturgy · Liturgy Workshops 2007 & 2008 · Formation of Leaders for Sunday Assemblies · Meditation Workshops · Young Mothers Group ­ Spiritual & Personal · Retreat in Daily Life,2006, 2007, 2008, Jesuit Led. · Shared reflection of Scripture at daily/weekday Mass WARRNAMBOOL EAST This Parish hosts `Women at the Well' gatherings with guest speakers and discussion, on matters of faith, spirituality and personal development. Open to all women of the Diocese. The group is affiliated with the Australian Bishops' Commission for Women. Gatherings generally take place on a Saturday and include a shared meal. BEAUFORT Because of .their limited access to Sunday Eucharist, about ten members of the Beaufort Parish share the leadership of Sunday Assembly and prepare themselves by meeting during the preceeding week to pray and reflect on the readings. WARRNAMBOOL · Lenten Program - `Gathered for Giving' including Anglican and Uniting Church people. Some continued to meet beyond the programs. · Godstart continuing to grow. · Returning Catholics: a six week program. · Three-week `at home' Retreat in Daily Life. · Taize Prayer Group · Emmaus Liturgy Vigil - Liturgy and a shared meal, sometimes a Mass, on Friday evening monthly at Emmanuel College Chapel Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

people. We are mindful of our unique identity and strong heritage of faith. We share a passion for nurturing our small rural communities. It is pastoral care that really matters. The greatest blessing of this Parish is its parishioners. We look for opportunities to affirm our people. We try not to allow our shortcomings become our focus, but rather opportunities for growth. Leadership is our ability to engage and empower each other to use our God-given talents and to share a vision that fashions our future. Circumstances may change, but the ministry of the people continues.

Marita O'Shea, Veronica Roache, Lucy Darcy


End of an Era

Sunday, February 22, 2009 saw more than one hundred and fifty former and current parishioners and visitors join together for the closure of Saint Joseph's Catholic Church at Watchem as a Sunday Mass venue. For 124 years, the hundreds of families and individuals who have made up the worshipping community of St Joseph's Watchem have gathered together each week, at the church. The Bishop of Ballarat, Bishop Peter Connors, was the celebrant for the final Sunday Mass in the Church. The celebration recognised that those who built this Church saw it as a witness to their faith in God and their desire to live and practice in a beautiful environment. "It is not so much the building that is the focus of attention," said the Bishop, "But rather it is the worshipping community that will disperse from this holy ground for the final time to live out the message of Jesus Christ." Bishop Peter went on to recall the important role of the priests who served the community as they carried out Baptisms, Confirmations and Marriages. "Many of you will take away precious memories of those moments in your lives when you came to this place to celebrate those special moments of the faith journey of you and members of your families," he said. "Nor can we forget the occasions when in this place you bade farewell to your loved ones." "Today and for the last time in this place on the Lord's Day, we respond to the command of Jesus Christ to say and do what he said and did at his Supper with his friends on the night before he died." The Bishop concluded by saying that the traditional dismissal, "The Mass is ended, go in peace" had a special significance today. Following the Mass, those present spent much time sharing their memories of St Joseph's, while at the same time acknowledging the commitment and dedication of the early parishioners who must have worked so hard to build such a magnificent Church. All adjourned to the hall as they continued to share their memories, along with a light luncheon. Although no longer a Sunday Mass venue, St Joseph's Catholic Church, Watchem, continues to stand as a tribute to the Catholic community of the district.

From left to right - Regular Parishioners of St Joseph's Watchem: Maree Spicer, Rhonda Barbetti, Kathy Walder, Maureen Belleville, John Barbetti, Beryl Milne, Fr Marcello Colasante, Bishop Connors, Hec Dickie, Frank Belleville, Peter Spicer, Margaret Belleville, John Colbert, Graeme Walder, Bernie Belleville. Acknowledgement: Text & photos courtesy of "The Buloke Times" March 3, 2009

Past and present members of St Joseph's Catholic Church congregation pictured following the final Mass.


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

Summer in the Phi


James Kerr, 21, is a third year seminarian for the Diocese. Although born in Sale, James grew up largely in Ballarat with his family. He was schooled at St Thomas More Primary School in Alfredton and St Patrick's College Ballarat, where his father Michael was a teacher. His family were part of the Cathedral parish and later St James' parish in Sebastopol. James began studies in engineering before entering the seminary in 2007. Similarly to James McKay last year, James was sent to the Philippines for a missionary experience over summer. As part of our seminary formation program over summer I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the Bikol region of the Philippines with two other seminarians from Corpus Christi College. We stayed in the Archdiocese of Caceres for around 5 weeks, where we stayed in various parishes for a number of days each from our base at the major seminary of the Archdiocese. It was an enlightening and formative experience in which I was able not only to make many new friends but also to see the life of the Church in a different country and culture. One lady I spoke to described Filipinos as "naturally Catholic." The central place held by the family in Filipino culture and the joyfulness and generosity of the people demonstrated this `natural Catholicity'. It can also be seen in the rapid rate at which locals converted to Christianity when the missionaries first arrived in the Philippines over 400 years ago. Yet despite the fact that the Philippines is predominantly Catholic and that the Church has been present there for centuries, most Filipino dioceses still consider themselves to be missionary. This missionary focus can clearly be seen in the Church's constant and active encouragement of vocations. Given that after WYD we now have a great opportunity for a renewal in vocations in the dioceses of Australia, I thought it would be beneficial to share some of the observations I made in the Philippines.

· This generous and firm response to God's calling in life is the fruit of the constant and active promotions of vocations on the part of families, parishes and schools. One particular program that greatly impressed me is that every student in the Archdiocese I visited undergoes a retreat at the end of their high school focused entirely on vocations. This program relies on the cooperation of families, schools and parishes and is just one of many initiatives aimed at promoting vocations. · As a result, every single Catholic student, both from public and private schools, is told that God has a specific plan for them in life. Of course, not every student accepts a vocation, but such a powerful and constant display of faith is incredibly effective in spreading the message of meaning to a generation that thinks it has none. · These general programs are only a part of promoting vocations. The seminarians I spoke to also pointed to the personal encouragement they received in their parishes, the friendships they formed with priests and religious and the witness to a life of commitment given by their parents' fidelity to each other. They also spoke of many other factors in their vocation, but I do not have space to speak of them all here. Ultimately, the success I saw in the Philippines in promoting vocations can be attributed to a constant and active promotion of vocations by families, schools and parishes centred on the message that every single person is called by God to live a life of purpose and meaning, and that this meaning in life is lived most clearly by accepting the call to a vocation, either to Christian marriage, religious life, single life or the priesthood. God does not love us and then leave us to wander on our own; He guides us and firmly desires us to live our lives with Him and for Him. Lastly though, I need to mention the most important work we can all do in promoting vocations; to continue to pray for vocations. No vocation can be lived apart from God's grace. Pray that the young people of Australia may be touched by God's grace; so that we may have the attentiveness to hear God's call in our lives, the clarity to discern that call and the courage and generosity to pursue it.

· Vocations don't just simply happen. In speaking to seminarians, it became clear to me they too are fighting `against the crowd' in accepting their vocation. Despite being from a poorer country, they too are from a generation of mobile phones and online chat services. It would be easy for them to reject their priestly vocation, to get a well paid job overseas, and yet they are firm in their desire to follow God's plan for them in life. We sometimes fall into despair here in Australia and think it is impossible to stand up to an increasingly secular culture, but the generous response of the young Filipino men I met who were responding to God's call showed there is also reason for hope. Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

James Kerr - Seminarian


Learning Together

St. Mary's School, Warracknabeal has been part of a stimulating project involving the schools in the town of Warracknabeal. All schools have an expectation to include Mental Health in the Curriculum under the Physical, Personal and Social Learning Strand. The challenge for schools, including our Warracknabeal schools, is how best to implement an effective Mental Health program. benefits of the program, the three schools would implement a united approach that would include working and planning together, sharing resources, ensuring each school had similar access to the visiting artists and health professional, integrating students in workshops and ultimately, celebrating achievements together. This has been an exciting highlight of the program as it enabled a real community partnership to develop. Now, after almost two years of combined planning, interaction and hard work between the three schools, we can clearly see the benefits in working together to achieve a goal. The staff and students of the three schools have shown a marvellous willingness to be involved and share the challenges, hard work and excitement of the program. Over two nights we witnessed the shared celebration of their efforts in the students' performance. The audience, totalling over eight hundred for the two nights, were absolutely captivated by these performances. We believe that Warracknabeal community will be strengthened as a result of the schools working together throughout the program.

Joy Quarrell - Principal

In Warracknabeal, regardless of which school our children attend between the age of 5 and 12, most will have been together at our local Kindergarten and most will continue together at our local Secondary College. With this in mind it would seem appropriate for our schools to work together when common issues arise. Mental Health, being a whole community issue, would seem a logical choice and our opportunity to trial this concept came when all the Warracknabeal schools were invited to participate in the Festival for Healthy Living.

Representatives from the three Warracknabeal schools, the Special Developmental School, St. Mary's and the Primary School were extremely impressed with what the Festival for Healthy Living program offered and unanimously agreed to accept the invitation. It was also agreed that, to maximise the


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

Indigenous Education Programme

ST PATRICK'S COLLEGE, BALLARAT has as part of its Catholic ethos a tradition of providing educational assistance to Indigenous students from rural and remote communities. Through the leadership of Headmaster Dr Peter Casey a number of Indigenous students have come to the College from rural and remote communities and lived and studied within the College's Boarding Houses. The College has also been active in its support of Indigenous students from the Ballarat region and is working closely with the Ballarat Aboriginal Cooperative and other lead agencies. The College currently has 32 Indigenous students enrolled from Year 7 to Year 12, one of the largest groups of Indigenous students enrolled at any Catholic or Independent school in Victoria. Twenty Indigenous students live within the College's Boarding Houses coming from communities around Australia including Bathurst Island, Timber Creek, Daly River, Alice Springs, Shepparton, Framlingham and Heywood. The College in 2006 was recognised as an approved provider for the national Indigenous Youth Leadership Programme (IYLP) as a result of its demonstrated ability to provide high quality educational and leadership opportunities for Indigenous students. IYLP students are provided with tuition and boarding fee scholarships from the Foundation for Young Australians, as well as the opportunity to participate in additional leadership initiatives with other IYLP scholars. In 2009 the College is honoured to have three IYLP scholarship holders recognised by the Foundation. In order to support all Indigenous students, the College is thrilled that Brett Goodes has joined the St Patrick's community as the College's inaugural Indigenous Education Manager. Brett is known to many for his football exploits, being a VFL Premiership player with the North Ballarat Football Club. However, he is also a highly respected member of the Ballarat Indigenous community and has quickly gained the respect of students and staff at the College. Brett is a Pitjinjarra man and will work with our Indigenous Programmes Manager, Mr Chris Gleeson, to develop programmes that meet the educational and vocational needs of students. For some boys this will be a traditional VCE, whilst some boys will experience the educational outcomes sought by their community through channels such as VET Certificates and School-based apprenticeships and traineeships. The appointment of Brett is based upon the findings from numerous government reports that the future social and economic growth and ongoing prosperity of Indigenous communities are reliant upon the ability of communities to educate young people. Some of the boys are also from communities where their safety and the ability to enjoy a safe and happy childhood are compromised. The College has responded to requests from the community to provide boys with an educational home where they are safe, challenged and supported in acquiring leadership skills that they can put into place within their community. Brett's role as a mentor will facilitate such outcomes as well as assist remote students in making the transition to life in Ballarat ­ quite a contrast from Bathurst Island in July! Whilst the College has assisted Indigenous students in achieving optimal educational outcomes, including one student, Jidah Clark taking up a place in Law at the University of Melbourne in 2006, the investment in programmes and resources, in particular the appointment of Brett, is designed to redress inequities in key indicators such as educational outcomes, life expectancy and community health. In so doing it is hoped that our boys, Indigenous and Non Indigenous will show leadership in working together towards a common goal ­ that all Australians will enjoy equality of opportunity.

Photo: Brett and Year 12 Timber Creek student Dwayne Hector discussing the mural which is a feature of the College's Indigenous Space.

Mark Waddington - Development Manager, St. Patrick's College

The Diocesan website provides information, news and resources regarding the life of the Diocese. Members of the Diocese can register for use of the Diocesan Network. Parishes can develop their own webpages. The Diocese also publishes an E-News every two weeks and you can subscribe to the Diocesan ENews from the website. The current issue and archived copies of Our Diocesan Community can be read online on the website. Each week also brings a reflection on the Sunday Gospel. Go to Our Diocesan Community - April 2009



From Darren Atkinson, newly appointed Principal of St. Joseph's College, Mildura (seen second from the right with Bishop Connors, priests and servers of the Mildura area.)

This year signalled the beginning of a new era for ST JOSEpH'S COLLEgE after 102 years of leadership by a Sister of Mercy. Sr Sylvia Williams RSM has completed a distinguished term of service as Principal and has retired after over 30 years of service as Principal in Catholic schools in Victoria. Lay Principals lead in all but one of the Mercy secondary schools in Victoria and this reflects both the changing face of Mercy Education and the decision to put precious Mercy resources into the areas of greatest need. It is both an honour and a great responsibility to be asked to lead our community and I returned to commence this academic year with those same nervous butterflies as our Year 7s! On Tuesday March 3rd we celebrated our Opening Mass and it was a very special occasion. We were fortunate to have Bishop Peter Connors to lead our gathering and our Parish Priest, Fr Tom Brophy and Frs Matt, Paul and Pat assisted. Among our special guests were Sr Kath Tierney RSM, Congregation Leader; Patricia Ryan, MSEI Chairperson; Bill Slatter, Catholic Education Office and Srs Madeline, Marion, Rosemary and Patricia. At our Opening Mass we celebrate our leaders, as well as welcoming the students new to the College. I was very impressed with the way our College Leadership Teams approached the Bishop to collect their badges and then made their pledge to serve our community. Sr Kath addressed our gathering on the richness of our Mercy heritage and Ms Ryan commissioned me as the new Principal. It was a great

In my response to our gathering, I was able to talk to the students about what it means to be a leader. Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, modelled her life of service on the example of Jesus. She asks the Sisters who have followed to do likewise. As leaders at St Josephs College, we need look no further than these Sisters and our mission statement to understand what it means to lead in our community. We are asked to demonstrate: SpIRITUALITY: we should nurture in the individual and the community a sense of being connected to God. COMpASSION: we must create a place of hope and love and compassionately seek to empathise with and respond to others in a spirit of mercy. JUSTICE: we must promote justice, opportunity and equity through the awareness of the rights and responsibilities of all. ExCELLENCE: we need to encourage and celebrate the development of excellence within the College community.

HOSpITALITY: hospitality is experienced by creating a welcoming and friendly environment. COMMUNITY: community means belonging, respect, support and commitment as partnerships develop. SERvICE: service means seeking and providing a Mercy mission within and beyond the St Joseph's College community. If we all work collectively towards the same goal, to make St Joseph's College a place where all feel welcome to develop our rich talents, each individual will be able to play their part and our collective success is assured.

occasion and reinforced the importance of keeping the Mercy story alive and flourishing as we commence an era of lay leadership.


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

Leading by Example

For the past months the parishioners of St Columba's in Ballarat North have been travelling the journey to Easter with Craig Schepis. At Easter Craig will be welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church. Craig is a passionate person. He believes in community building and developing social conscience. In 2008 he was Ballarat's Citizen of the Year. He was also nominated for Victorian of the Year because he has seen an area of real need in our community and worked with and inspired people to help him address this need. In 2007 Craig and Walter Collins spent a night on Ballarat's streets, filming a documentary that highlighted the plight of Ballarat's homeless people. It was titled "One Month Before Christmas" and was shown on pay TV. In this documentary Craig actually lived on the street to give viewers a first hand account of what it was like. An adapted version of this is shown at both primary and secondary schools to open up the discussion on this hidden social problem. In successive years, two more videos have followed. This year's video explored the causes of homelessness in our youth and highlighted domestic violence. Part of the secondary program is a night sleeping out. With support, the participating youth organise this event. A few weeks ago, after a night of homelessness, one school separated the students who participated from those that did not and ran a modified program for them. They were too tired to learn. This is itself a learning. How can a person living on the street possibly concentrate and complete schooling? It takes a highly motivated young person to do that and most homeless youth have had that level of motivation destroyed.

Photo: Courtesy of "The Ballarat Courier"

Craig has initiated a community bus to provide food and support for Ballarat's homeless. This is manned by volunteers. Many of the youth that come to the bus need a bowl of soup and a listening ear to support and direct them to make the best decisions for their wellbeing and future. Restaurants in Ballarat help cater. On the sleepover night, two enormous pots of the best pumpkin soup ever, fed the youth. What was left over went to a breakfast program. After the Bushfires the bus was moved to Whittlesea to offer practical support to the volunteers. Craig has a deep belief in the need of all the community to support the most vulnerable. He believes that everyone really wants to reach out and be active in community development but some people do not know how to do this. It is just a case of matching one with the other. There is a real sense of achievement and satisfaction when you make a difference in the life of another person. Craig has worked with sporting clubs, inviting their athletes to mentor and support youth at risk. He told of the absolute thrill when something you take for granted is first experienced by another. He spoke of one footballer travelling with his young friend on a day trip to Melbourne and the excitement of the young boy in driving over Westgate and seeing Melbourne spread out before him for the first time. The athlete was just as enthused and for him it became a life enhancing moment. In elite sport the focus is on the individual and on winning. The development of a social conscience is life giving and life changing. He regularly and passionately speaks about the needs of the homeless to raise funds to support these people. Last week the local cinema approached him to show the latest video as a fundraiser and as a community information evening. Two hundred people attended. According to Craig, what he does is not "rocket science". "As a leader you have to be passionate, to keep in mind the big picture, and work on making the small steps achievable for all the people involved. It is about keeping people involved, motivated and focused. It is about the journey being a time of learning, too," he said. "The community has to take a step up. The welfare dollar is becoming less and less. Welfare organisations need to work more closely together. Each member of the community needs to support the most vulnerable. It is the youth who are our future." Craig turned forty last year. He runs his own successful business. He still competes in Ironman competitions, more now, for the personal growth on the journey and helping the young competitors than for winning. He is married with two beautiful daughters. Early last year he decided to become a member of the Catholic faith. His wife and daughters are Catholic. After the death of a close friend Craig knew that his faith commitment was with the St Columba's community and he joined the RCIA program. His work with the homeless youth of Ballarat, Craig sees as part of walking in the footsteps of Jesus, who spoke of the most vulnerable in society and invited his followers to reach out to those in need. Craig continues to do that and invites the community of Ballarat and beyond to join him.

Fiona Tonkin

Craig (second from left) with Peter Marquand (sponsor), Bishop Connors and Sr. Margaret Mary Brown (St. Columba's Parish) at the Rite of Election.

Our Diocesan Community - April 2009


New College Leadership Structure

2009 saw the commencement of a new leadership structure at Mercy Regional College, Camperdown, which focuses on learning and teaching. Our current Director of Learning and Teaching, Lisa Pope, now has the support of a Head of Learning and Teaching for the Junior School (Year 7 & 8), Middle School (Year 9 & 10) and Senior School (Year 11 & 12). These three new leadership positions within the College replace the existing structure of Heads of Faculty. The Heads of Learning and Teacher lead Professional Learning Teams (PLT). These PLT are an effective means of developing a culture of collaboration and collective responsibility in schools. In the PLT our teachers remain accountable for individual students, however, they also take responsibility collectively for improving instructional practices to achieve gains in learning for all their students. The Mercy Regional College PLT focus will be student centred and be aimed at maximising student outcomes. Teachers will be encouraged to engage directly with the subject matter, identify key learning outcomes and discuss effective pedagogical strategies that support the learning. Mercy Regional College is delighted to announce that our new Heads of Learning and Teaching for 2009 are: Mrs Leanne Carpenter (Head of Learning & Teaching ­ Junior School); Mr Wayne Walsh (Head of Learning & Teaching ­ Middle School); Mr Lachie Lee (Head of Learning & Teaching ­ Senior School).

Andrew Watson - Principal

L - R: Leanne Carpenter, Wayne Walsh, Principal Dr Andrew Watson, Director of Learning and Teaching Ms Lisa Pope and Lachie Lee.

Expressions of Interest for Lease of Convent

Until recently the Convent, (previously known as the Good Samaritan Centre) located at Coragulac in the Victorian Western District and part of the Parish of Cororooke, was occupied by the Good Samaritan Sisters for 85 years. This magnificent two-storey brick building is now available for lease. The two-storey brick building is part of the Parish of Cororooke complex at Coragulac. Coragulac, a small rural township, is situated 11 kilometers from Colac. The building is located in a rural setting, set on lovely treed grounds, with a fernery area and an orchard. The property adjoins St Brendan's Primary School, Playgroup Centre, Alvie Kindergarten and Parish House. The site has been operated by the Good Samaritan Sisters. Until the early 1970's it was a boarding school for secondary students and after the closure of the Boarding School, it continued to be residence for members of the Order. During the 1980's the Good Samaritan Centre was developed, being used to hold various community and spiritual activities, including retreats and weekend workshops, a meeting place for the local patchwork group, cooking and craft activities, health and wellbeing sessions. The Centre has also been used as a conference venue. Downstairs, the building has a large kitchen, large lounge room and several smaller sitting rooms, laundry and bathrooms, boarders' dining room, private dining room and chapel. Upstairs is an area previously used as an office, 14 small bedrooms, 2 large rooms previously used as boarders' dormitories, and bathrooms. The building has been well maintained and is carpeted throughout. Interested parties can contact members of the Option Group: Lucy Darcy: ph. 5233 1228 or Veronica Roache: ph. 5235 1228; mobile: 0417 538822. Expressions of Interest, marked "Coragulac Convent EOI" should be forwarded to: Options Group, PO Box 27, Cororooke 3254 by FRIDAY, MAY 8 , 2009.


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

A Blessed and Challenging Experience

2008 was a year of extraordinary growth in the Hamilton parish of St Mary's. It was my privilege and delight to witness much of this growth, from the perspective of both a parishioner and a pastoral care giver. Early in the year, I accepted an invitation from our parish priest, Fr Patrick Mugavin, to be a "pastoral care person" in our catholic primary school.Fr Paddy recognised the need and also the readiness amongst many of our school families for spiritual care and nurturing. Whilst I am primarily based at the school during my working hours, my role is directed more towards care of the parents of our children rather than the children themselves. On occasion, it has been my privilege to visit parents in their homes to provide pastoral support in times of need. Setting up a parent resource library, welcoming new families to the school and organising a series of prep morning teas, were some of the areas I was able to make a meaningful contribution to. A highlight of my work has been the formation of an adult faith/spirituality group. The group began just after Easter last year. Many of the participants had been part of a fruitful Lenten group and welcomed the opportunity to continue the exploration of their faith and spirituality. Weekly prayer, reflection and discussion led us to a place that none of us could have imagined! Our gatherings were (and continue to be) filled with grace and there can be no doubting that it was God's Spirit breathing Life into the group. Trust grew and friendships formed and strengthened. We carried one another through moments of doubt, questioning and difficulty with great care and non judgement. We celebrated life with one another, blessed each other, laughed (a lot) and cried too. There were extraordinary moments of unity and understanding and we knew it was all pure gift.

Towards the end of the year, we were blessed to share a retreat experience in Port Fairy. Sr Margaret Carmody who, in her role as Parish Associate, is a very rich addition to our St Mary's parish community facilitated this. With her expertise and gentleness, Sr Marg assisted us to journey to even greater depths than we had previously travelled as a group. The fun-filled, relaxing and very moving weekend exceeded all our expectations! Another area of growth which I have had the joy of being a part of is a weekly meditation group. Fr Paddy introduced Christian meditation to our school community several years ago. I took part in the weekly gatherings and discovered an immense richness in this form of prayer. It seemed only natural then, to want to share this with others. Again, with guidance, support and encouragement from Fr Paddy, a meditation group was advertised and formed. We began with only two or three people and slowly became six. Whilst the gatherings were generally small in terms of numbers, God's Spirit was strongly palpable. My first year as a pastoral care person has been full of challenge, excitement, joy, amazement, grace and blessing! The personal rewards have been immense. Perceptive parish leadership, a life-giving faith community and the outpouring of grace from a generous God, have formed very fertile soil from which to grow in our St Mary's parish. May we keep on saying YES to God's awesome presence amongst us and continue to reap the rich harvest which is ours to enjoy!

Colleen Johnson

The catHoLic deVeLoPment Fund - diocese oF BaLLarat (CDF) is an integral source of income for the pastoral services offered by the Church across the Diocese. The CDF allocates half of its annual operating surplus to the Diocese for pastoral and welfare work. In addition, the CDF also provides funding for accommodation for retired priests. The CDF enables your investment to combine with those of other parishioners and catholic agencies and assist the Diocese through loans to parishes, schools and other diocesan entities.


For more information please contact: Catholic Development Fund `Free Post' PO Box 576, Ballarat 3353 Phone: 1800 134 100 Email: [email protected]

Our Diocesan Community - April 2009


Celebrating Years of Service

70 Years of Religious profession 60 Years of Religious profession

Sr. Mary of Mercy RSM

The Sisters of Mercy, Ballarat East gathered on Sunday, March 1 to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee ­ 70 years - of Religious Profession of Sr. Mary of Mercy. Bishop Connors was the celebrant for the Jubilee Mass which was followed by a luncheon with Sisters and friends.

Sr. Marie Dominic Foley RSJ

Sister Dominic Foley celebrated her Diamond Jubilee of Religious Profession on March 1. Ballarat born, Sister joined the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph in January 1946. After her novitiate training in Sydney, she was professed as a Sister of St Joseph in the Mother House Chapel ­ Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney ­ on January 6, 1949. She then returned to Victoria and began her teaching ministry. She calls herself the "Happy Wanderer", for her nomadic teaching years took her to country and city schools in every Diocese in Victoria as teacher and Principal over a period of 31 years. In 1981 her ministry brought her to Ballarat where she spent three years at the Catholic Education Office and finally in 1984 she commenced at Australian Catholic University ­ Aquinas Campus, where she had ten happy and memorable years with students and staff. This completed her involvement in the whole cycle of Catholic Education ­ from class teaching to teacher administration, to teacher training ­ so satisfying, grace-filled and personally fulfilling. In 1994 Sr Dominic semi-retired and began pastoral visitation in Ballarat. Belonging to the Cathedral Parish is a joy for her, as she enjoys coffee and friendship with parishioners after midday Mass and is able to participate in the liturgical life of the place where she was baptised and confirmed. 2009 is proving to be a SPECIAL year of joy and thanks to God, to her religious sisters, her family and friends, as she celebrates the Diamond Jubilee ­ 60 faithful years ­ of her Religious Profession. May she be blessed to continue God's work with joy, dignity and prayer for the time ahead.

Born in 1914, Sr. Mercy entered the Convent of Mercy, Ballarat East on July 2, 1937 and was professed as a Sister of Mercy on February 23, 1939. During her religious life, Sr. Mercy taught for many years in the Junior School of Sacred Heart College and cared for the juniors in the Boarding School. She was also Principal of St. James' Primary School, Sebastopol. At the conclusion of her teaching career, Sr. Mercy lived in both the parishes of Mortlake and Donald for a number of years and was greatly loved and respected as a member of both local communities. In responding to her Jubilee celebrations, Sr. Mercy reminisced on her own schooldays at Sacred Heart College and on her life as a Sister of Mercy. She said, "Firstly, the sisters taught and loved me. Later, in community the Sisters shared their friendship, support and Mercy spirit. Over the years I soaked up Mercy, it was all around me and my life became centred in Mercy. The older I get the more I can see God's plan leading me. I praise Him for His loving gifts and thank Him for His care of me. I also thank each of you present with me today and the endless number I have met along the way who have touched my life. My heart beats faster when I think of the wonder of it all. "Thank you" does not seem to do justice to what I want to say. Maybe rather, "Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!"

Photo: Sr. Mercy (left) with Sr. M. Monica (Donald)

Sister Dominic with Bishops Peter Connors and Ronald Mulkearns

We make a living by what we get and we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009



On Tuesday, March 24, the Most Rev. Peter J. Connors, D.D., D.C.L. Bishop of Ballarat, gathered with the entire student and staff community of Damascus College Ballarat along with invited guests, parents, Sisters of Mercy and members of the College Board for the blessing of the newly constructed MERCY WING and the refurbished ST. MARTIN'S RESOURCE CENTRE and SACRED HEART WING. This project at the College's Mt Clear Campus includes a new administration building, refurbished library, classrooms and a food technology facility. The $4.7m project which is Stage One of the Damascus College Ballarat `One Campus' project, was funded by the Commonwealth Capital Grants program and through the generosity of the Damascus College Ballarat community. It was officially opened by Ms Catherine King MP, Federal Member for Ballarat. Now in its 15th year, Damascus College was born of an amalgamation of Catholic Secondary schools in Ballarat East. But Damascus College's roots date back into the late 1800s. A group of the Sisters of Mercy came from Ireland, via Warrnambool, and founded Sacred Heart College. By the late 1960s Sacred Heart College had developed a separate senior campus at Mt Clear, St Martin's in the Pines. St Martin's, now the Mt Clear Campus of Damascus College, had become a co-educational college by 1990. To serve a post-WWII need, technical education for Catholic boys, the then Catholic Bishop of Ballarat, James O'Collins, founded St Paul's Technical College with the Catholic Parishes of Ballarat. Damascus College Ballarat currently has two campuses, at Victoria Street, Ballarat East and Geelong Road, Mt Clear. Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 are now located at Mt. Clear and Ballarat East is the Year 7 and 8 campus. It is planned to merge the two sites completely on the Mt. Clear campus by either 2011 or 2012. Damascus College Principal, Mr. Tony Duggan, said the opening marked a "very significant point" in amalgamating the College's two campuses. "The new facilities are truly magnificent for both students and staff," Mr. Duggan said. Through many processes of consultation with key stakeholders, a plan for the development of Damascus College Ballarat as a one campus co-educational school is coming to fruition. This plan is directed by renewed Vision and Mission statements and as well as the blessing and opening of the buildings, this occasion also provided the opportunity to launch the Damascus College Ballarat Strategic Plan 2009 ­ 2015 and the new College Mission and Vision Statement. The community of Damascus College, students, staff, parents and supporters are delighted with this further step in the development and life of the College.


TOP LEFT: Tony Duggan, Bishop Connors, College Captains Kaitlyn Cooper and Matthew Willis at the Mercy Administration Wing. RIGHT: Following the Opening the whole school gathered for a photo to mark the occassion. This is the first time that Damascus College have had a whole school photograph taken in the fourteen years since the foundation of the College.

MIDDLE: L-R: Mr. Larry Burn - Director Catholic Education Ballarat; Mr. Paul Jans - Business Manager Damascus College; Bishop Peter Connors, Mr. Tony Duggan - Principal Damascus College, Sr. Veronica Lawson RSM ­ Co-governor Damascus College, Mr. Graeme Law ­ Architect, Mrs. Maureen Macphail ­ Chair Damascus College Board, Ms. Sandy Law ­ Architect, Mr. Dean Stevens ­ Nicholson Builders, Fr. Adrian McInerney ­ Co-governor. BOTTOM LEFT: Crucifixes were blessed and placed in the rooms of the College, as will be copies of the new Vision and Mission statement.

Our Diocesan Community - April 2009


Youth Evangelising!

Last Year, the Cathedral parish sponsored Darcy de Losa - a young adult from the Parish, to join the NET (National Evangelisation Team) after she attended World Youth Day. Recently, Fr. Justin Driscoll received the following update from Darcy regarding her experience since leaving Ballarat in August 2008. Hi from Ireland. I've been here with NET since October and I keep meaning to let you all know how its been going. When I left Australia in August, I headed to Ottawa for six weeks of training in Canada. After two weeks, the seventy young people in the group were formed into eight teams for work in Canada (six teams) and in Ireland (two teams). I became part of the Irish travelling team with nine other young people. It was pretty challenging, but so much fun getting to know five Canadians, two Americans, and two Irish over the next six months. We finished our training in October and then headed over to Ireland where we have been travelling the country doing retreats in secondary schools. It has really been the best experience of my life. A typical week will see us travelling on a Saturday, spending time with the team on a Sunday and working on Retreats from Monday to Friday. A retreat will begin at around 9-ish with icebreakers, games and skits... fun stuff... then we move into the main part of the day with talks, drama, personal sharing and discussion groups. Throughout the day we keep the focus on the faith but also ensure that it doesn't get too heavy, because as young people, we don't really like the doom and gloom that somehow accompanies religion at times. Towards the end of the day we move into a prayer time. I was on a retreat today for Year Seven's and it was so lovely chatting to them and hearing their take on God and life in general. It never fails to amaze me, the openness of the teens towards hearing about God, and it is so beautiful. It is so good to be in the one school for a few days and hear of the changes that have taken place in the lives of the young people you are meeting with. I love it, frankly. Sometimes you have your days when you really feel you have given all you have to give, but I really wouldn't change being here for a minute. I think one of the most powerful things about our ministry is that it is very relatable. Seven out of the ten people on our team are under twenty years in age and the other three are twenty-two and twenty-four. Even though we do get into some pretty cool but tough stuff, we try to keep it pretty light with games and skits, because we are all young and we do love to have fun. That was definitely one of the biggest things I took from WYD, the fact that the church was young and alive and for the youth. Being able to share that vision with teens is honestly a one in a million chance. My time here isn't totally spent in ministry. I really love the Irish people, culture and country. The people are so generous. A lot of the time we will be in host homes where we stay with a family and the generosity with which they welcome you into their homes and make you part of the family is just so nice. For the first six months after our drought, I couldn't get enough of the rain and the green, but I haven't seen any leprechauns so I am a little disappointed in that regard. Sorry if this is a little rambling, but hopefully you have now have a little more of an idea as to what us `netters' do. I am really looking forward to getting home and maybe put some of the skills I have learnt to good use around the parish. Please keep me and all the other `netters' in your prayers. God bless - Darcy De Losa


The Catholic Church in Australia is to embark on its first ever National E-Conference this year, with parishes and Church groups encouraged to gather on Tuesday June 30 to take part in the innovative conference on St Paul. The Year of St Paul National E-Conference is entitled, "Paul - The Man, the Mission and Message for Today: igniting his purpose and passion" and is an initiative of the Broken Bay Institute and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. The Conference will be hosted by television identity Mike Bailey and will feature sessions from world renowned Scripture scholars, Brendan Byrne SJ, Michele Connolly RSJ and film, media and communication scholar, Richard Leonard SJ. These sessions will be webcast live to sites across the nation, and will be interspersed with opportunities for local gatherings to discuss the sessions with the guidance of a trained facilitator. Bishop David Walker, a member of the Bishops Commission for Mission and Faith Formation, said the format of the day would be a first for the Church in Australia. "Every parish in Australia will have the opportunity to get involved, either by hosting a webcast site themselves or by joining with another group nearby," Bishop Walker said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for people from Broome to Broken Bay to be able to join in this very exciting program of world class speakers. It is a fitting way to mark the end of the Year of St Paul in the Church and we feel it is an initiative of which St Paul, the great Gospel communicator would surely have been proud." The Director of the Broken Bay Institute, Dr Gerard Goldman said it was easy for parishes and groups to get involved. "Essentially, all that is needed for local communities to get involved is a broadband Internet connection, a projector and a screen," he said. There will be no cost to those who take part in the E-Conference." The Diocese of Ballarat has registered for the Conference and hopes to host the Conference in several centres around the Diocese. Any parish interested in participating is invited to contact Sr. Anne McMillan ph: 5337 7179 or email: [email protected] au For more information on the Conference go to:


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009

excellence in restoration

Congratulations to the Immaculate Conception Parish, Ararat and the project team of Johns Lyng Group (Builders) who were responsible for the rebuilding of The Church of Immaculate Conception in Ararat! The work of the Johns Lyng Group has been recognised in the winning of a Highest Commendation Award with the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) and a National AIB Excellence Award. Damaged by severe fire in April 2007, the Church of Immaculate Conception in Ararat has been authentically restored to its former beauty by the construction team at Johns Lyng Group, along with the valuable assistance of Parish Priest Father Brendan Davey, parish coordinator Tom Rees and a Parish Restoration Committee. The restoration of the 100 year old local icon proved to be a difficult task, involving the sourcing of materials from overseas and the unique manufacture of all mouldings by hand. The ornate detail of the finishes and stylized structure of the bluestone church included a domed cathedral ceiling, restoration of the original leadlight glass and a hand carved marble altar. (Restoration work on the Altar was carried out by Hallett Stonemasons.) Right from the time of clean up, a great spirit was born on site. All the different parties banded together to assist the church community. In the early stage there was the local CFA, the Insurance Company and Loss Assessor, the Restorer and of course the Builder all working together with Tom Rees the Church Coordinator and Father Brendan Davey, the Parish Priest. "A restoration committee was formed as a result of a Parish mini assembly who were responsible for a lot of the early decision making. This formed a ring of people for the parishioners to go to that were honest, straight forward and helpful for the duration of the project." said Tom Rees - Parish Church Coordinator. As the church community was dealing with grief, the whole experience was a talking, sharing and consoling process and all on site needed to be open and caring to the needs of the community, who were present daily at the site throughout the project. Quickly a family group formed with every party involved understanding they were restoring something precious that was deeply engrained in the community, where people and their parents and grandparents were baptised, married and buried from. People came to the church regularly for the practice of their faith. Could it be restored to its former self? Each had their significant role to play and all were respected and appreciated for their efforts. Throughout the project it was critical that working relationships between all parties, adopted open communication, respect and full consideration for the working environment. All on site were not simply there to perform their usual role of Plasterer or Project Manager, they were also there as "Someone to lean on, put your arm around and move forward with confidence and determination" said Tom Rees. "Everybody just trusted each other so much and all were sincerely passionate about what they were doing." Father Brendan said. The restored Church is a tribute to all involved.

L to R: Marita Wright: Catholic Church Insurance (CCI), Mike Donnelly: Crawford & Co, David Cameron: Johns Lyng Group, Don McKie: Johns Lyng Group, Father Brendan Davey, Tom Rees: Ararat Parish, Karl Arena: CCI, Christie Downs:Johns Lyng Group, Peter Alford: CCI, Marc Gibson: Crawford & Co.

Our Diocesan Community - April 2009



LEADERSHIp: AN ART OF pOSSIBILITY. Zander, Ben. (2005). Experience the phenomenon of Ben Zander, world-renowned conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, as he expressively teaches a new and improved style of leadership in the exciting training program Leadership an Art of Possibility. With Ben's new interactive leadership style, managers and supervisors in your organization will learn to keep a possibility alive until every person involved in the project is enrolled. Level:-Adult Duration:-26 min.

CHANgE BY DESIgN: THE STRENgTHS OF SHARED LEADERSHIp. Bendigo: Innovative Resources (2006) Change by Design uses questions to challenge us to think about how we can enact shared leadership in our groups, teams, organisations and companies. It is a great tool for keeping fairness alive in the way we participate and include others in any process of change. It recognises that change happens best when those who are affected are given the opportunity to let their leadership qualities shine. It also recognises that leadership does not come automatically with a particular position, but rather, leadership is a shared responsibility and can be brought to the change process by anyone, at any time. SpIRITUALITY OF LEADERSHIp: INSpIRATION EMpOWERMENT INTUITION AND DISCERNMENT. Dorr, Donal. (2006) The issue of leadership has recently become a matter of considerable concern in the churches, in other religions, and in the political world. This book explores the nature of leadership and proposes a spirituality which supports authentic leadership. The book is addressed primarily to those who are called to exercise leadership in voluntary or non-governmental agencies and in religious organisations of all kinds. FOSTERINg LEADERSHIp SKILLS IN MINISTRY: A pARISH HANDBOOK. Hiesberger, Jean Marie. (2003) As Christians we aspire to live our lives with Jesus Christ as our model. This lifelong process of studying Jesus is especially important for those who are leaders in the Christian community. Jesus described his form of leadership as that of a servant. THE 7 HEAvENLY vIRTUES OF LEADERSHIp.(2003) Given the current worldwide focus on corporate collapse, institutional transparency and management behaviour, what better time to consider the relationship between organisational leadership and virtue? In The 7 Heavenly Virtues of Leadership, the Australian Institute of Management draws together eight accomplished management thinkers to explore the quintessential Australian leadership virtues of humility, courage, integrity, compassion, humour, passion and wisdom. All Titles are available for LOAN from the DIOCESAN RELIgIOUS EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTRE 5 Lyons Street South, P.O. Box 576, Ballarat 3353 Ph: 03 5337 7149 Fax: 03 5333 5048 e-mail: [email protected] Web Site: or

Brothers and sisters in faith, who are listening to me from every part of the world! Christ is risen and he is alive among us. It is he who is the hope of a better future. As we say with Thomas: "My Lord and my God!", may we hear again in our hearts the beautiful yet demanding words of the Lord: "If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him" (Jn 12:26). United to him and ready to offer our lives (cf. 1 Jn 3:16), let us become apostles of peace, messengers of a joy that does not fear pain ­ the joy of the Resurrection. May Mary, Mother of the Risen Christ, obtain for us this Easter gift.

Pope Benedict XVI - Easter Message 2007


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009



"Every year the Year 12 Student Leaders of Emmanuel College create a theme that reflects the values that are important to our College and will help our community to prosper. Our theme for 2009 was inspired by the name of a video game console. Using the acronym Wii, we developed the theme, `We Inspire Involvement.' We call on our community to reject a false, virtual world where we don't relate to each other. We aspire to embrace differences and respect diversity. We challenge you to live a real life in which you grasp all of the opportunities for participation ­ opportunities that build school and community spirit." With these words the Captains of Emmanuel College Warrnambool, Gemma Gray and James Grant, began the College Opening Mass for 2009, held at St Pius X Church. At Emmanuel College we have put in place an excellent program for leadership development amongst our students with activities which assist in transition for new students, running workshops in the primary schools, taking some responsibility for organisation and running of major events and leading community based student programs. We also have high expectations of our leaders in terms of the roles we require. They are examples to all other students within the College and are often our public image to the wider community. We call upon them to represent us on public occasions as well as to be a link between administration and students at school. These leaders are elected through a rigorous process and, whilst there is some variation from year level to year level depending on the age group of the students, the election processes all have similarities. There is a formal forum on leadership conducted during the third term Personal Development Day for all students in all year levels ­ with the exception of the current Year 12. Students are nominated from the full year level list through an initial voting procedure including all students from the year level and staff. Potential candidates are shortlisted from this original nomination process and all potential candidates are given the opportunity to demonstrate an act of commitment to the process through a presentation in some form to their peers. At Year 12 level there are opportunities for the identified group of leaders to attend a workshop or series of workshops with some members of the College Leadership Team and Year 12 Coordinators and at the conclusion of this meeting a further ballot is taken based on input from the group. All those in attendance vote. A final group (between 10 and 16) are appointed as College Leaders. This group reconvenes for further workshopping with some members of the leadership team and Year 12 coordination staff. They identify themes, goals, actions for the ensuing year and the attributes required for success. At the conclusion of these workshops an election for College Captains and Vice Captains is held with all in attendance voting. The Principal appoints the College Captains and announces their names to the community by end of the school year. The leaders this year have already shown themselves to be hard working and diligent and they deserve credit for the way they have gone about their tasks, not only in building their theme for the year, but in developing a set of goals that will be promoted and put into action throughout the year. They have contributed to the general wellbeing of the school community through the traumatic beginning to 2009 with Black Saturday and will lead the student body with enthusiasm and diligence.


Rodger Punch has been appointed the Religious Education/Faith Development Coordinator at Emmanuel College. Rodger grew up in the Mallee near Swan Hill and was educated at: Ultima State School; Assumption College Kilmore; St Francis Xavier Seminary (Adelaide) and Deakin University (B Ed). Rodger also completed seven years full-time in the study of Philosophy, Theology & Scripture whilst in Adelaide. Rodger first taught at Emmanuel College in 1991, (the first year of amalgamation), until 1994, leaving to supervise at the boarding house and teach at Assumption College Kilmore, then to to Monivae College Hamilton, where he was Religious Education Coordinator. Rodger came back to Warrnambool in 2002 primarily for family reasons, but he was also keen to resume teaching at Emmanuel. Over the years Rodger has taught Religious Education, English, Drama, Medieval History, Australian History and Geography. A member of St Joseph's Parish Warrnambool and of the Parish Liturgy Committee and St Joseph Singers choir, Rodger's interests also include music, motorcycles, theology, philosophy and following the Richmond Football Club. Emmanuel College is a family affair for the Punch family. Rodger is married to Catherine, who is an Integration Aide at Emmanuel College and they have son, Michael, who is in Year 11. This year Rodger returns to the role of Religious Education Coordinator at Emmanuel ­ a role he previously held in the 1990's. "What I like best about Emmanuel College is the very friendly and supportive staff and co-operative students who are keen to learn about life as well as gain a fine education," said Rodger. "What we do best as a College is provide a well rounded education, attending to the whole person - mind, body and spirit in the long-standing Catholic tradition. In the role of Religious Education Coordinator I aim to continue development of new curriculum, to contribute to students and staff members developing a deepening awareness of the passionate love of God for all and to enhance a practical sense of justice in an unfair world." Our Diocesan Community - April 2009


The Last Word

Several centuries before Jesus Christ was born into our world, the prophet Jeremiah attributed these words to God: "I will give you shepherds after my own heart". It was an assurance that God's people would never be left without a shepherd. It is not surprising that the role of the Good Shepherd is often claimed by Jesus himself or is attributed to him. He was faithful to the mission entrusted to him; he was serene in his dedication and he exhibited joy in leading and he was glad in gathering people into unity. In our Diocese of Ballarat the model of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is lived out in all our communities whether it be local church, the parish school or the family with a new born child. The Pastoral Staff carried by the Bishop symbolises and celebrates the presence among us of Him who offered his life for his flock and came not be served but to serve. At the commencement of Holy Week at the Mass of the Oils, the bishop, priests, religious and all of Christ's faithful renew their commitment to the task of being leaders in the style of Jesus Christ. We are called to be good and responsible shepherds. Throughout 2009 we shall have many opportunities to show practical concern for those who are dispirited and bewildered, to be courageous in giving witness to our faith in God by our compassion and our willingness to forgive. We will strive to build up and nourish the communities to which we belong by the constant giving of ourselves in the service of others. That is the kind of leadership that Jesus taught and required of his first disciples. He asks the same of all of us.

Farewell to the Josephite Sisters

On Friday, March 20th, the community of St Mary's Parish, Swan Hill farewelled Sr Kathleen McSweeney RSJ. After twelve years of pastoral work in the parish and MacKillop Secondary College, Kathleen leaves Swan Hill take up ministry in the Josephite Mission in Kununurra. As the Congregation have no other Sister to send to Swan Hill this ends 86 years of Josephite Sisters in Swan Hill. A special edition of the Parish Magazine "The Marian" has been printed for this occasion, tracing the history of the Josephite mission in our Parish, and in particular Sr Kathleen's contribution to School life as a counsellor and to our Parish as friend, pastoral carer and formator of persons in spiritual and prayer life. Sr Kathleen and the one hundred and nine Sisters before her have followed the example of their Foundress, Blessed Mary MacKillop, to "never see a need without doing something about it". Much they did was obvious and we thank them for that, but in true Mary MacKillop tradition they were "faithful in the least as well as the greatest". Swan Hill Parish offered its thanks to all the Josephite Sisters with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday March 22nd and honoured the Sisters present with lunch in the Parish Centre afterwards.

+ Peter J. Connors


If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams


Our Diocesan Community - April 2009


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