Community action needed to stop domestic and family violence IMAGE Aurora

Community action needed to stop domestic and family violence

June 04, 2022 Gary Christensen

When news outlets report on the death of a person at the hands of a current or former partner, many of us feel angry and sad. Despite our horror and collective sympathy for the victims, rarely do we consider that someone close to us could be in an abusive relationship. Unfortunately the reality indicates this is often the case.

New book launched that will delight local history buffs  IMAGE Aurora

New book launched that will delight local history buffs

June 04, 2022 Lizzie Watkin

For more than 200 years, the Catholic Church has provided education to generations of Australians. While the provision of schooling in this diocese does not extend back quite as far, a new book entitled Snaphots in Time bursts with interesting stories of our journey in education.

Moving forward and taking the good with us  IMAGE Aurora

Moving forward and taking the good with us

June 04, 2022 Sean Scanlon

There is always a long list of pressing issues that confront any incoming government. This reality does not appear lost on Australia’s 31st Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who hours after taking office, boarded a flight to a meeting of Quad leaders in Tokyo.  

If life is a test, resilience is the answer IMAGE Aurora

If life is a test, resilience is the answer

June 04, 2022 Fr Greg Barker

We do a disservice to our young people in giving them a prize for participation regardless of where they finish in the race. Encouragement is one thing, a ribbon another. One of the best things we can do for them, often with the greatest outcome, is to buy them a goldfish or budgie. A pet with a short life span.


Driving towards a future of possibilities  IMAGE Aurora

Driving towards a future of possibilities

June 03, 2022 Lizzie Watkin

Breaking down barriers faced by newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers on their pathway towards education and employment is the goal of a new initiative being delivered by CatholicCare’s Refugee Hub, with support from the City of Newcastle, NRMA and volunteer mentors. 

A full heart IMAGE Aurora

A full heart

March 25, 2022 Sarah James

As Alex, Brendan and their three children wait for the photographer to set up on Redhead Beach, it was hard to miss the chorus of “look, it’s Mrs Walsh” from nearby youngsters enjoying an afternoon swim.

A celebratory service IMAGE Aurora

A celebratory service

March 24, 2022 Lizzie Watkin

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle made history when it celebrated its first-ever LGBTIQ Mass, on 4 March 2022.

The Mass is part of the Diocese’s response to the call of the Diocesan Synod and of the National Plenary Council. During the discernment process, it became clear that many Hunter Catholics wanted the Church to be more openly inclusive of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community.


Organised by the Diocese’s LGBTIQ Catholic Forum established in 2020 with the encouragement of the late Bishop Bill Wright, the LGBTIQ Mass was the same as a regular Mass but with prayers and scriptures addressing the needs of LGBTIQ people and their families.


The Forum’s secretary, Lawrie Hallinan, said the LGBTIQ Mass is an opportunity to celebrate that LGBTIQ people are created in God’s image and are welcome in the Catholic Church.


Diocesan Administrator, Fr Greg Barker, led the Mass held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Tighes Hill. In his Homily, Fr Greg referenced Pope Francis’ recent message to Catholic families, which encouraged parents who “see different sexual orientations in their children” to accompany, not condemn their children.

Greg Byrne forms part of the Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Forster-Tuncurry and drove two hours to attend the service, which was of significance to his family.

“I am pleased to see the Catholic Church welcoming homosexual people into the worshiping community,” said Greg, who is also a member of PFLAG, the first and largest organisation for LGBTIQ+ and their parents, families and allies. “These people have felt very unwelcome in past years.”

In the lead up to the Mass, James Turner, a parishioner in the Diocese of Maitland- Newcastle now in his seventies, said he wished there had been a LGBTIQ Mass when he was a young man.

“It would have saved me years of fear and self loathing if my Church had clearly said, “God made you as you are, God loves you and we see you as a valued member of God’s Church”

Serving up new opportunities  IMAGE Aurora

Serving up new opportunities

March 22, 2022 Sarah James

Navigating the job market can be a murky business. This is particularly true if your qualifications are not recognised in your new homeland, English is your second language, and you don’t hold a NSW driver’s licence. However, CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning’s new cleaning service, in partnership with its Refugee Hub, aims to change that.

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